A few notes about this week's #CookClub recipe. It's a good example of two things. One, the interesting way our tastes change as we get older. And two, the intoxicating power of bacon.
I thought I hated Brussels sprouts until a few years ago, when I tried a recipe that called for roasting them in a high-heat oven and began to see them all over restaurant menus, usually in a lightly fried variation.
I was hooked. And now I've found the perfect recipe to satisfying my crispy Brussels cravings.
The two-step process of cooking the sprouts in a little bit of bacon fat and then tossing cooked bacon back in at the end makes this a worthy, scrumptious side dish to almost any meal. And for the more health-conscious among us: Don't worry, you're not using that much bacon. The Brussels are still the star. Trust me, it's worth the slight spurge.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon
- 2 slices bacon, diced
- 1 pint Brussels sprouts (about a pound)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 diced shallot
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Heat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a cast iron skillet, cook bacon until it's brown. Turn off the heat and remove bacon from pan; set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the oil rendered from the bacon.
- Return skillet back to the burner. Trim bottom of Brussels sprouts and slice each in half top to bottom. Heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat until it shimmers; put sprouts cut side down in one layer in pan. Add garlic and shallots and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook, undisturbed, until sprouts begin to brown on bottom, then transfer to oven. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sprouts are quite brown and tender, about 15 or 20 minutes. Be sure not to let the sprouts (especially the leaves) burn.
- Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in balsamic vinegar and bacon and serve hot or warm.
- Serves 4.