Brussels Sprouts with Maple Butter and Iberico Ham

Ingredients (17)

For the fried sage leaves:

  • 1 1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 ounces fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the maple butter:

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ounces pure maple syrup

For the brussels sprouts:

  • 2 ounces Iberico ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 ounce pickled garlic, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground toasted long peppercorn
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
  • 8 leaves fried sage
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, medium to large, cleaned, stem ends trimmed to remove the brown part, and then split lengthwise in half
  • 4 ounces vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
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Brussels Sprouts with Maple Butter and Iberico Ham

This recipe from Giuseppe Tentori, chef of Chicago’s swanky steakhouse GT Prime, is a stunning way to serve Brussels sprouts. Pan-seared and tossed in maple butter, they’re garnished with Iberico ham, pickled garlic, and delicately crisp fried sage leaves, for an earthy, sweet, and salty dish that’s extremely elegant yet surprisingly easy to pull off. Iberico ham, or jamón ibérico, is a wonderfully sweet and nutty cured ham from Spain, and it is expensive, but you only need a little bit to make a big impact. If you can’t find it, or can’t justify the splurge (even though it’s totally worth it), you can substitute an equal amount of high-quality, paper-thin serrano or prosciutto.

Long peppercorn is spicy, earthy, and sweet, and can be purchased online or at specialty spice shops, but if you can’t get it, you can leave it out.

For more beautiful Brussels sprouts, check out our Brussels Sprouts and Lemon Risotto recipe, and our Roasted and Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino and Pomegranate recipe.

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Tips for Ham


To make the fried sage leaves:
  1. 1Since the sage fries quickly, be sure to have a spider or strainer ready, as well as a tray lined with paper towels.
  2. 2Pick the sage and wipe away any dirt with a lightly dampened cloth. If you have to rinse the sage, make sure you dry it thoroughly or it will cause the oil to boil up and potentially overflow the pot.
  3. 3Heat the oil over medium high heat in a small sauce pot with at least a 2" rim to prevent splashing. The temperature of the oil should be no higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit or the sage will burn. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping a very small amount of flour into the oil. If there is no reaction, the oil is not hot enough. If the flour browns immediately and produces a lot of smoke, the oil is too hot. The flour should bubble when it hits the flour and disperse without taking on color too quickly.
  4. 4When the oil is ready, drop the sage into the pot and stir with a dry spoon just to loosen the leaves up and prevent them from sticking together. Stir lightly every 15 seconds until the leaves begin to bubble less frequently and take on a translucent green appearance. When they are only bubbling very lightly, remove the sage from the oil and place onto the paper towel lined tray to drain.
  5. 5Sprinkle lightly with salt while still hot and allow to cool to room temperature.

To make the maple butter:

  1. 1Combine the softened butter and maple syrup in a bowl and mix well to fully incorporate. If using the same day, leave at room temperature, but if making ahead, store in the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature before using.

To make the Brussels sprouts:

  1. 1Warm a large saute or frying pan over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then add half the oil and half the butter, let the butter melt for a moment and swirl the pan to coat evenly with the oil-butter mixture, then add half the Brussels sprouts. Increase the heat to medium.
  2. 2Turn all the sprouts so the flat sides are down, touching the pan, and season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
  3. 3Continue to cook the Brussels sprouts on medium heat, flat side down, until they become an even golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. 4Once the cut sides are golden brown, flip them over and cook for 2 more minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. Repeat the above steps to cook the remaining half of the sprouts.
  5. 5Once all the Brussels sprouts have been browned, wipe the pan clean, to be ready for final cooking and assembly. Over low heat, add all the cooked sprouts back to the cleaned pan and toss in the maple butter until melted and sprouts are evenly covered. Add the Sherry vinegar, a bit more kosher salt and black pepper to taste, and toss again to coat. Transfer sprouts to a serving platter or divide among plates and top evenly with the Iberico ham and pickled garlic slices, then sprinkle with the ground toasted long peppercorn and fried sage leaves.

Photo by: Anthony Tahlier

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