This year was a smaller Thanksgiving get-together in Georgia, and 5 of us girls were in charge of the meal. I found this recipe on another blog I follow, and it looked delicious enough to try out on for our family’s Thanksgiving. Unbeknownst to me, Aunt Beth’s least favorite food is brussels sprouts, and she was (not) delighted to hear this was what I was making as one of the vegetables. Well I knew the recipe was a success when she became a member of the clean plate club and ate all her brussels. Glad to have converted you, Beth!
Brussels Sprouts au Gratin
- 2 lbs brussels sprouts, halved
- 4 oz Pancetta, diced (I used a small container of it)
- 1 T Butter
- 3 Shallots, chopped
- 2 T All purpose flour
- 1 3/4 C Milk
- 1 t Salt
- Nutmeg, to taste
- 1/2 t Thyme
- 4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then start on the brussels –> Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the halved brussels. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until they are slightly tender, then remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water, aka blanch the lil guys. Once they’ve cooled down, set the brussels aside.
Put the diced pancetta in a large pot (I used the same one, just washed it) over medium heat. Cook them until they’re done and the fat is rendered, ~7-9 minutes. Remove the pancetta and put it aside, while leaving the fat in the pan. Add butter and the shallots to the pan and cook the shallots until they’re soft, ~4-5 minutes.
Once the shallots are cooked, add the flour to the mixture and whisk for 1-2 minutes to make a roux over medium-low heat. Then add the milk and stir until the roux and milk are mixed together and it thickens –> This will take at least 10 minutes. When the roux is thickened, it should coat the back of your spoon.
Stir in the nutmeg, salt, and thyme, then add 3 oz of cheese and stir until smooth. Finally add in half of the cooked pancetta, and the brussels sprouts. Stir the cheesy brussels sprouts mixture until the brussels are coated and transfer it to a greased 8×12 baking dish.
Top the brussels with the remaining cheese and pancetta, and bake for 25 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Let the dish cool a few minutes before eating.
Edits: Turns out the IGA in Pine Mountain didn’t have shallots, so I used a little bit of a vidalia onion instead. I’m also pretty sure I used more than 4oz of cheese, but there were no complaints about extra cheese from the family. I made the brussels and put them in the pan the day before, but I bagged the extra cheese and pancetta and baked it at Grandmom’s on Thanksgiving. Very easy to make ahead of time!
Results: This easily just became my favorite brussels sprouts dish, and I’ve had quite a few recently. Who can say no to brussels, cheese, and pancetta in one dish? It didn’t take that long to make, and tasted so good, so I’m sure it’ll be on the menu at home soon! And I might add a little more cheese on top….
Since we were working with disposable plates and napkins to make the meal easier, we had some fun with the name cards – paper turkey legs! Just use small paper bags, cut out the “bone” on computer paper, and write the names with a sharpie.
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They weren’t just “not bad”…they were delicious. Who knew? It pays to keep trying. You’re a great cook Kelley!
Thanks aunt Beth! We’ll cook more for Christmas!