Poor Brussels sprouts. Always the punchline to bad jokes about foods people were forced to eat as a child. These little green globes don’t get the love they should. In fact, I always thought they were a bit “blah” until I had them fresh from the stalk as opposed to boiled from a freezer bag.
Very few people even realize they grow on these beautiful stalks that shoot straight up from the ground. They look like some sort of medieval club or a piece of modern sculpture.
They also don’t need a lot of effort to prepare either, which is wonderful if you need a few more sides to round out your meal but you are feeling panicky because you know you just won’t have anymore space in the oven on Thanksgiving day.
Fret not! This recipe won’t take you more than 30 minutes start to finish, and you can even make someone else remove the sprouts for you while you are prepping other dishes.
If you know how to make bacon or have taken one of my classes, you will still have a few days once you’ve read this to begin curing your own bacon for this recipe. If not, check your local health food store or farmers market for some nice, thick-cut bacon. For this recipe you’ll want 1/3-1/2 pound. I used some we cured with cracked black pepper.
If you don’t have shallots you could always substitute leeks or onions. The idea is to just keep it simple and not add more stress (or another trip to the market) to your hectic holiday schedule.
RECIPE: Brussels Sprouts w/ Shallots & Home-cured Bacon
- 1 medium-large stalk Brussels sprouts
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1/3-1/2 pound thickly diced bacon (depending on how “bacony” you want it)
- sea salt (optional)
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium. Remove sprouts from stalk and rinse them under cold water. Remove any outer layers that might not look as nice or fresh. When they are rinsed, slice lengthwise and set aside.
- Toss in diced bacon and let it cook until it’s about half as crisp as you like.
- Then add shallots and stir them around to ensure they get coated with the bacon fat.
- Toss in cut sprouts and stir around. The dish is ready to serve when the bacon is a crisp as you like it and the sprouts have a nice golden color on their cut side, but are still bright green on the back. If your bacon is fairly thin, you may want to add shallots and sprouts even sooner, so that the bacon doesn’t end up burnt.
- I like to sprinkle a little sea salt over mine at the end, but if you feel the bacon has added enough salt already, just omit the extra salt. Make sure you cook this up right before serving too.