Disclaimer: It helps if you are already at least a casual fan of brussels sprouts.
If you hate brussels sprouts, it might be a lost cause. But this might be the recipe that wins you over. Like a gateway brussels sprouts recipe.
And did you know, by the way, that it’s actually “brussels sprouts” and not “brussel sprouts?” I did not until today. There you go. Never stop learning.
Anyway, I am a HUGE fan of brussels sprouts. But at one point I didn’t care that much for them, because the only ones I’d ever eaten were tasteless and mushy that were frozen. Then I found a recipe that mixed fresh ones sauted in a little bacon grease into pasta. Game on. It was my “gateway” brussels sprouts recipe. I’ve been a fan ever since. Bacon makes everything better. It’s magical. Something about bacon’s salty and smokiness pairs so well with the bitter of brussels sprouts.
So why not invite more flavors to the party? Brussels sprouts and bacon have the salty and bitter cornered. So I thought these needed some sweet and sour.
These are super easy and fairly fast.
Salty and Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts (makes 4 servings)
- 2 lb fresh brussels sprouts
- 6 pieces of bacon
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock, white wine or water
- 2 Tb good balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tb honey
- salt and pepper
Chop the bacon up into 1/4 inch-ish pieces. Add it to a skillet and fry, stirring occasionally, until the bacon begins to crisp up. Remove the bacon and drain on a plate with a paper towel, reserving the bacon grease in the skillet. Trim the ends off the brussels sprouts and cut in half. Add the brussels sprouts to the hot bacon grease and stir well so they are all coated. Salt and pepper brussels sprouts.
Let the brussels sprouts get golden brown, sauteing for about 6 minutes or so. Add the vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir well and place a lid on the skillet. Let the brussels sprouts cook on medium to low heat until softened a bit, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium high to reduce the liquid. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to ensure the brussels sprouts don’t stick. Cook until the sauce has thickened to coat the brussels sprouts and add back in the bacon pieces. Stir once more to mix. Serve immediately.
Just look how delicious these look? Seriously, you can’t go wrong adding bacon to anything. Brussels sprouts are a case in point. I totally wouldn’t judge if you made a batch of these and ate them for dinner all by yourself. After you taste them, you’ll understand why.
I’m a believer in bacon, and I get all mine from Sandy Creek Farms in Ravenswood, WV.