Belgian Classics (11): Brussels sprouts with bacon

Sandra Slawinski 4th December 2019 0 comments

Cabbage season is upon us and nothing is as famous as Brussels sprouts, mostly because people dislike them intensely! I however have always loved them. I think most are traumatized by being force-fed some to mush over cooked sprouts and well they do smell up the house. Fear not, I have the perfect remedies for all this and if you trust to give it a go, I vow you will love them! ( bold statement I know) Here is the classic Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon matchsticks.

As part of a series of Belgian dishes posted every first Wednesday of the month, I vow to demystify these uber Belgian classics for you. Step-by-step I will show you what to do, this will have you successfully recreate those gorgeous rustic Belgian flavours you discovered In Belgium.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS – With origins back to Ancient Rome this miniature cabbage was already tensing back in the 13th century in what we call Belgium now. The odour when we boil them is off putting for some, the perfect tip for that is add an onion to the boiling water and close with lid. Also to keep the sprouts looking fresh and green add some bicarb to the boiling water. You can also sauté in the pan and roast them in the oven. I choose to par boil the sprouts, then sauté them in the bacon fat – easy and delish to serve with the upcoming celebrations. If you are going veggie all the way, swap the bacon for lovely chestnuts.

STEP 1: Cut away the hard bottom and if any damaged outer leaves. Rinse the sprouts and cut in half.

STEP 2: Add bicarb to the boiling water to keep the sprouts green and add an onion ( here shallot) to absorb the odour.

STEP 3: Add to boiling water the sprouts and par boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Cover with lid to again avoid smelling up the house. Drain and reserve.

STEP 4: Meanwhile sauté the smoked bacon, when cooked through, remove and reserve. Add the par boiled Brussels sprouts and sauté for a few minutes in the bacon fat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the bacon and serve.

My Brussels sprouts

Yield 4 side portions


  • 600 gr Brussels sprouts
  • 200 gr smoked bacon, cut in matchsticks
  • water
  • 1 tea spoon bicarb soda
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half


  1. Cut the bottom of the sprouts and clear any faded leaves, cut in half and rinse under water.
  2. Bring water to the boil, add bicarb, add the onion, add the sprouts. Cover and boil for 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile sauté the bacon, remove and reserve.
  4. Strain the sprouts and add to the pan with bacon fat and sauté, add the bacon back in, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.


by Sandra Slawinski on 

Written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercials deals. I, used my bowl and towel Dille en Kamille, Le Creuset pan