The Secret Ingredient Jamie Oliver Adds To His Brussels Sprouts

When it comes to vegetables, Brussels sprouts don't exactly have a positive reputation. Unless you cook and season them properly, they can easily turn out tasting bitter and overall unappetizing. Typically, Brussels sprouts rely on masking the bitterness with ingredients like bacon and balsamic vinegar, but Jamie Oliver has a different approach. According to a recipe for the "Best-ever Brussels sprouts" published to his personal blog, the celebrity chef deviates from tradition by adding apples and sausage. The real secret ingredient, however, is none other than Worcestershire sauce. Oliver explained that the condiment pairs well with Brussels sprouts because it creates contrast and adds a "savory kick."

Though technically one ingredient, Worcestershire sauce gets its flavor from a combination of several others, including molasses and sugar to make it sweet, anchovies to make it salty, tamarind and vinegar for sourness, and spices like cloves, celery seed, and chili pepper extract for spice. The result is a natural umami flavor that takes Brussels sprouts to the next level.

How much Worcestershire sauce should be added to Brussels sprouts?

To reap the benefits of Worcestershire sauce in your Brussels sprouts, you'll only need a single tablespoon of it. Jamie Oliver adds the ingredient as the final step of the cooking process, tossing it with the vegetables until both are heated through. Oliver's recipe involves sautéing the Brussels sprouts in a pan on medium high heat, but if you'd much rather use the oven, New York Times Cooking has a Brussels sprouts recipe that uses a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce for the same amount of Brussels sprouts — two pounds, or about 800 grams if you're following Oliver's recipe.

For NYT Cooking's oven roasting method, you'll instead mix the Worcestershire sauce with lemon juice and garlic while the Brussels sprouts are roasting in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven. After they've finished cooking, you'll then pour over the Worcestershire sauce while it's still hot. Once you taste it, you'll understand why Oliver considers Worcestershire sauce his secret ingredient for Brussels sprouts.