Why is everyone always hating on the Brussels Sprout? I find it to be one of the most agreeable of foods. They are wonderful with nothing more than a little salt and pepper, and like most things, even better when tossed in a little bacon grease. Look, I don't usually cover everything in bacon, but at Thanksgiving the rules change. On Thanksgiving ( and Christmas, and my birthday, sometimes on Valentine's, and always on vacation ), calories simply do not count. Believe it. Don't verify with your cardiologist or anything, but you know, just take my word for it!
So yes, I love plain roasted Brussels Sprouts, and I love them tossed in bacon, too. The flavor of this little veggie isn't the only thing I love about it, though; it's how forgiving it is. When undercooked or raw, they are great shredded in a salad or as a garnish and topping for fish. If the heat was a little too high, the outer leaves are delicious even when blackened and crispy, as my mother and I found out one year on Thanksgiving when I forgot about the poor little things in a very hot oven. You can over cook them at low heat, and they become creamy instead of mushy.
Bless you, Brussels Sprout.
Strangely, I have also found that Brussels Sprouts seem to pair wonderfully with literally any wine. This recipe pairs particularly well with a bold red wine, but I've had it with Champagne and been equally delighted. To be fair, I rarely am not delighted when having Champagne, but I digress. Give these sprouts a chance this holiday -- they only add one dish to the post-holiday cleanup!
- 1 stalk brussels sprouts removed from stalk, rinsed, and halved ( approximately 7 cups loose, halved sprouts )
- 5 slices thick Applewood Smoked Bacon chopped
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a large stainless steel pan, cook the chopped bacon over medium high heat until it just starts crisping. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
- Turn the heat under the pan off, and carefully add the halved brussel sprouts to the pan. Residual water from the rinsing may cause the bacon grease to jump out of the pan at you!
- Add the salt and pepper to the pan, and toss the brussel sprouts several times to make sure they are thoroughly coated in bacon grease, salt, and pepper.
- Place in the oven, and roast for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, add the bacon and pecans, and toss to combine. Return the pan to the oven, and roast for another 15 minutes.