Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts

Before you say ick, just hear me out.  And trust me.  I love Brussels sprouts.  It doesn’t matter how they’re prepared.  At our house, I’m in the minority.  And I’ve spent years trying to convince my family that they are delicious.  I’ve even gone so far as to offer Molly’s friend Emily ten dollars to try one.  She did.  I paid.  And I will wager another ten that not a single BS has passed her lips since.  Too bad for her.

But wait.  I’m persistent.  And I believe I might just have the breakthrough preparation.  I made these.  Anne ate them.  She ate more than just the obligatory “one.”

And why wouldn’t she?  Sauté these in some bacon fat with garlic.  Simmer in chicken stock.  Top them with panko and cheese and bake until they’re golden brown and crispy.  I think you’re still with me, right?

I took Tyler Florence’s recipe and adapted it slightly.  The result, I think, is amazing and good enough to convert the most hard core dissident.

Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts

Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence

Serves 6

6 ounces bacon, cut into small squares

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed, plus 2 cloves, roughly chopped

4 sprigs thyme, plus 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only, chopped

2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°.
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Take a large pan and set over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until fat renders 2 to 3 minutes. Add the smashed garlic clove, thyme sprigs and Brussels sprouts and cook gently until slightly caramelized. Add stock and reduce heat to a simmer. Add red pepper flakes. Season with salt and a little pepper, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until tender. Remove lid and add a splash of vinegar and reduce until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.

 

After Brussels sprouts are done cooking, stir in Gruyère and put them in oven safe dish. In sheet tray and toss bread crumbs with rosemary, thyme leaves and chopped garlic, then drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture and Parmigiano over Brussels sprouts and bake in a hot oven until golden and crispy.

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