Cooking Brussels sprouts is sometimes challenging. I find boiling makes them water logged and mushy and pan sautéing leaves them a bit too al dente. But roasting, on the other hand, cooks the sprouts evenly and is my preferred method because the oven does all the work.
For this dish I par-cook the Brussels sprouts in a hot skillet in the oven, then transfer them to a shallow gratin to finish with some cream and bake until its all crisp and bubbling. Par-cooking, as opposed to cooking all the way, keeps the sprouts from getting too mushy, and gives them great texture in the end.
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for dish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, quartered if very large
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Simple Breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 425 F. Butter a 1 1/2-quart gratin or shallow baking dish.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until it has rendered its fat and is just beginning to crisp, about 4 to 7 minutes. Turn off heat.
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil/bacon fat from the skillet. Add Brussels sprouts to skillet and toss them in the oil with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place skillet in oven and roast Brussels sprouts until they are crisp tender yet still green, about 11 to 15 minutes. You do not want the sprouts to get soft.
Remove sprouts from skillet and place in prepared gratin dish. Evenly distribute bacon over sprouts and pour in cream. Top with breadcrumbs and dot with 1 tablespoon butter.
Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and gratin is bubbling, about 13 to 17 minutes.
Let gratin cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
See more recipes from my Hosting the Holidays Crate.