Tuesday, May 14, 2013

B to the 3rd Power: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Sugar

Math is probably not my strong point 

but the combination of these three ingredients was exponential!

I really love Brussels Sprouts. No one else in my family is a fan so it's a selfish endeavor to cook them. Adding the bacon really took it up a notch because the family was disappointed that they didn't get to eat the whole dish of the meaty goodness and it was going with vegetables. I think that in some ways (most ways) that think it's blasphemy to use bacon in a vegetable.

The recipe I borrowed this idea from called for the bacon to be rendered. Now I have heard that term repeatedly but wasn't exactly sure what it meant. I looked it up online and found this explanation. Apparently to render means to cook the bacon very slowly on a very low heat and let the fat be released. I found that with my cast iron pan, the fat did not seem to pool up and probably was absorbed into the pan. I can say that when I added the high heat at the end, it got crunchy and yummy, real technical terms!


1 1/2 lbs of Brussels Sprouts
3/4 lb of Slab Bacon, or similar
Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar


Rinse the Brussels Sprouts and trim off outer leaves and cut off stems. Split each sprout in half.

Season with garlic salt and pepper. Set aside.

Dice the bacon and place in a pan over low heat, rendering the fat. Once most of the fat is released put on high heat until crunchy and browned. Set aside on paper lined dish and remove most of fat from pan.

Place the Brussels sprouts in the pan, giving them time to brown and caramelize. Flip them to provide more browned area.
Place the sprouts off to the side and add the vinegar to deglaze the pan. Scrape up any bits that have stuck to pan. Allow the Brussels sprouts to get coated and cook a little longer, until tender.

Add the brown sugar and bacon to the pan and stir to coat.

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