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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bacon Brussels Sprouts

If there was one vegetable I hated as a kid, it was Brussels sprouts.

Wow.  It's like I just heard dozens of people saying "Duh" at the same time.

Okay.  I know I wasn't alone in this hatred.  Lucky for me, we rarely ate them.  Still, the few times we did have left me scarred for life.  Boiled beyond recognition, puke green in color, bearing a faint odor of...well, stank...they were not exactly favored fare.

And it stayed this way.  Until recently.

It was only recently that I learned that Brussels sprouts don't have to be disgusting.  They don't have to be overcooked to the point of mush.  They can be infused with flavor.  

Bacon flavor.  Yes, friends, I was sold.

I wound up using Paula Deen's Brussels sprouts recipe as a starting point, and made my own alterations as I saw fit.  You know me - I always have to edit a recipe to my own liking.  I didn't see a reason to cook 2 pounds at once since I knew I'd be the only one eating them, and I changed the preparation instructions a bit as well.  For instance I knew, having received advice from some wise bloggers, that allowing the cut sides to sit in the bacon fat and carmelize would be the way to go.  I removed the onions/garlic from the pan prior to adding the sprouts in order to increase the surface area and decrease the chance of dealing with stinky burned garlic.  And it just seemed right to me to leave the sprouts in the pan after the broth evaporated in order to sort of re-brown them. 

1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sprouts sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 pound bacon, diced (around 5-6 slices, or more if you're a glutton like me)
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbs butter

Heat large frying pan over medium high heat.  Add bacon and cook until crisp.  Remove bacon using slotted spoon, leaving rendered fat in pan.  Set bacon aside.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add shallots and garlic and cook for around a minute, stirring frequently to prevent burning.  Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add sprouts to pan.  Turn all cut side-down so as to allow carmelization.  Cook for several minutes, checking periodically to ensure proper browning without burning.  When sprouts have carmelized, add onions and garlic back to pan and pour chicken broth over top.  Allow broth to cook down completely, leaving pan uncovered, and occasionally move sprouts around to ensure even cooking.  

Once liquid is evaporated, allow sprouts to sit cut side-down again for several minutes in order to encourage further browning.  Add butter, and plenty of salt and pepper.  Stir gently to combine.  Remove from heat and serve with bacon pieces on top.

And that's it, friends.  So simple and yet so good.  The carmelization is marvelous, and I really believe that allowing the cooked sprouts to brown again added another level of flavor.

Plus.  Bacon.  Yeah.  Suffice it to say I sat there and picked at these babies the entire time I was taking pictures of them.  Then I ate them all week long.  And it was amazing.  I think I'll add more shallots next time, or just regular onions.

Make this dish.  I promise you, if you aren't already a Brussels sprouts convert, you will be.  And you'll wonder how you managed to spend so much time away from them.

Were you forced to eat Brussels sprouts as a kid? Do you think you'd enjoy them more if prepared this way?

Sharing with All the Small Stuff, Fudge Ripple, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, 33 Shades of Green Miz Helen's Country Cottage Designs by Gollum, Simply Sweet Home & Tidy Mom - stop by and see what's going on with all the other talented bloggers who link up there!



Blogger blueviolet said...

I admit it's kinda pretty, but I'm not sure I can go there anyhow.

February 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Blogger amanda persinger said...

looks good!

February 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Anonymous Miel Abeille said...

Yours look so much more appetizing than mine looked. But, they were tasty! So glad you liked them!!!!

February 16, 2011 at 3:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love love love brussel sprouts. I have to try this recipe! YUM!

February 16, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Blogger Amanda said...

Well, you can hardly go wrong with Paula Deen.

I've never eaten a brussel sprout ever in my whole life. Can you believe all that? This actually does look pretty tasty. I wonder if I could sneak this into our dinner and get some greens into my hub's diet?

February 16, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Blogger Marie said...

I am definitely adding this to my list. I LOVE Brussels Sprouts. Yes, I am admittedly weird, but I love them anyway. Have since I was a kid. we lived in northern CA and I can remember buying them straight from the fields by the peck. Still not sure what a peck is, but apparently that's how they sold Brussels Sprouts.

February 16, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Blogger KLZ said...

I secretly love Brussels sprouts. As long as they're not boiled.

February 16, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Blogger Christy said...

i love brussel sprouts...and love how they taste with a yummy bit of bacon grease :) we are growing them this year for the first time...fingers crossed we have a good crop. thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club.

February 16, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Blogger Maggie said...

We love brussels sprouts and serve them as a side dish at least once a week.
Your recipe sounds delish & well worth a try.

February 17, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Blogger Miz Helen said...

Hi Jen,
I just made a dish with Brussels Sprouts and Pearl Onions. It is such a great combination. Your dish looks very delicious. Thank you for bringing your wonderful dish to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

February 17, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Blogger Candace said...

I think that your brussels sprouts look amazing! Everything is better with a little bacon. My father in law cooks almost like this except he adds marsala instead of the chicken broth. It sweetens it up a bit. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. I'm going to have to try to prepare these myself soon. :)

February 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Blogger Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

They are beautiful! I've always like B-Sprouts, but I steam them. Think I'll give this a try:@)

February 18, 2011 at 6:13 AM

Blogger Cannary Family said...

I'm one of those freakish people who actually love Brussels Sprouts and I can't wait to try this!!! Is there nothing bacon doesn't make taste better? (:

February 18, 2011 at 9:52 AM


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