I was that weird kid that always loved vegetables. I guess when you grow up with a mother who’s mantra was, ”you have to at least try it once and then if you don’t like it, don’t have to eat it,” you get to try a wide variety of flavors. It probably also helped that my mom is a remarkable cook.
There is a reason this recipe pairs so well using a dark malty beer as an ingredient and this is because of a flavor producing effect called the Maillard Reaction. The Maillard reaction creates brown pigments in cooked food by rearranging amino acids and certain simple sugars. The amino acids and sugars then arrange themselves in rings and collections of rings that reflect light in such a way as to give a brown color.
The brown color of the beer is due to this reaction. The caramel flavors and color in the beer are a direct result from roasting barley. The longer the barley is roasted, the deeper the color. When you roast the Brussels sprouts you also create a Maillard Reaction and produce flavors similar to that of the barley. As a result the roasted flavors of the beer pair beautifully with the roasted flavors of the Brussels sprouts and the two are better together, than apart.
1lb Brussels sprouts
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/3 C Maredsous Brune, or other Belgian (non sour) Bruin
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut brussels sprouts into uniform size. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Place on baking sheet and cook until golden.
You can also cook the brussels sprouts by skewering them and tossing them on the grill until lightly charred.