Brussels sprouts have become a favorite vegetable in the last year or so. That wasn’t always the case, but now that I’ve found a method of cooking them that produces great results, I’ve been making them at least once a month when I see them in the market. If you’re not a sprouts lover, give these bacon roasted Brussels sprouts a try and see it you don’t like these better.
Both bacon meat and drippings are used to prepare the dish which is finished in the oven after all the ingredients are combined. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar provides just enough “tang” to cut through any greasiness from the bacon drippings.
Roasting Brussels sprouts helps reduce the typical sulfur-y cabbage odor I associate with the horrid mushy sprouts forced on me as a child. These guys are nutritional powerhouses, full of Vitamin C, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. The sulfur, which odor we object to, plays an important role in the body’s detoxification process. (Source)
You can purchase Brussels sprouts attached to the stalks or trimmed in a tray pack. You’ll want to trim the bit that was attached to the stalk and remove any yellow or discolored leaves from the individual buds. Cut them into halves or quarters depending on the size of the sprout. When roasting, they’ll take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the size. I don’t have any experience with the frozen Brussels sprouts, but I think I would steam them instead of roasting them. If you try roasting them, let me know how it works.
- One quart (about a pound) of brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut into halves or quarters depending on the size.
- three or four pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces, fried with drippings reserved
- one medium onion, diced
- olive oil (to supplement or replace the bacon grease)
- pinch of red pepper flakes or more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- balsamic vinegar to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° F
- Try to have everything ready before you start cooking the bacon. The small pieces cook quickly.
- Cook the bacon until it's starting to crisp over medium-high heat.
- Turn the heat to low and remove the cooked bits of bacon to a paper towel to drain.
- You'll need 3 to 4 tablespoons of drippings, add some olive oil to the pan if it looks like you'll need some.
- Add the red pepper flakes to the pan and raise the heat to medium high.
- Saute the onions in the bacon drippings until they begin to soften.
- Return the bacon to the pan, add the Brussels sprouts and stir well to coat with the drippings.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer everything to a baking dish and place in the oven.
- Roast them in the oven until they start to turn crispy brown, giving them a good shake every now and then.
- The sprouts are done when they're fork tender. It can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes for the brussels sprouts to cook through, depending on their size and how dense they are. They should be tender with some crunchy bits.
- Remove from the oven, adjust the salt and pepper as you like and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar.
This recipe is slightly different than one of the very first posts I wrote for the blog. I’ve been anxious to update some of my old recipes and especially the photos from back then. The original post was called That’s “Brussels” with an “S” if you’d like to see it.