Thursday, October 14, 2021

Joey's Garlic Pickled Brussels Sprouts


This recipe is kind of a side step from my usual mid-October posts. Usually, I would post something pumpkin or apple or Halloween-ish, but today, I thought I’d do some canning.
People often refer to summertime as “canning season” because that’s when you have your fresh produce, etc, but I like canning throughout the entire year, not just during the summer.
 So today, I decided to pickle some Brussels sprouts. WHAT??? yes, it’s true. When making pickles, you don’t HAVE to always use cucumbers. I’ve pickled peppers, onions, asparagus, even radishes! Pickle whatever you like!! And the best part is that you can change up your pickling brine to suit your fancy! If I’m doing sliced cucumbers or radishes, I like a nice sweet bread and butter pickle. But if I’m doing spears, or asparagus, or in this case, sprouts, I like a nice tangy garlicky dill.
So if you’re a fan of pickles, try pickling something other than cucumbers next time. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Have fun!

3-4 lbs Brussels sprouts
7 large cloves garlic
4 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
2 tbs yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp celery seed
1 tbs mixed peppercorns
2 tbs dill weed
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs salt
pinch red pepper flakes

Combine brine ingredients in a medium sauce pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, trim the root ends of the sprouts, then slice them in half through the root. (if you slice it through the equator, the leaves will fall apart!). Also slice your garlic cloves in half. If you’re not going to can them, let the brine cool slightly so that it’s not boiling hot. Place the sprouts and garlic cloves in large glass container, then pour brine over. Let cool completely, then store in the fridge.
For canning, wash and heat your pint sized jars. (this made 7 pint jars for me). Fill your jars with sprouts, and two pieces of garlic each. Pour your hot brine over them until full, leaving an inch head space. Use a plastic knife to debubble, wipe your rims, then center your lids and place your rings finger tight. Waterbath or steam can them for 10 minutes, turn off heat and let them sit in canner for an extra 5 minutes, then move them to a towel lined counter to cool completely.
For best flavor, let them sit for a few weeks before cracking into them.

Ok, yes, I know, I know. A few weeks is a long time to wait, but I promise it’ll be worth the wait! I was thinking of serving these at Thanksgiving, so that’s why I’m making them now!
Switch up the brine however you like. Do you have a favorite pickle recipe, use it!
Want it to be more garlicky? Add more garlic! Want it to be spicier? Add more pepper flakes. It’s whatever you like!
Most pickle brines call for equal parts water and vinegar, but I like a stronger hit of sour, so I always go a little extra on the vinegar side.
Wanna add some fresh herbs? Go for it. I think I may use fresh dill next time. Want it to be sweeter? You can literally add up to 2 cups of sugar to this recipe. Don’t have any of these spices? Just add a couple tablespoons of purchased pickling spice and call it a day. It will all work.

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