Thursday, November 27, 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots with Bacon

It's Thanksgiving today in the U.S., and I'm going to be off at a good friend's house all day, cooking, drinking, eating, and being merry. Before that, though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Thanksgiving (and other feast) dishes.

This first one should be prefaced with the statement "I Hated Brussels Sprouts When I Was Younger And These Sprouts Can Convert You To Brussels Sprouts Love, Too."
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots with Bacon

2 lbs Brussels sprouts
1 shallot
6 strips high-quality thick-cut bacon

Preheat oven to 400°F. Take a 9x13 pan and lay out the bacon; nothing should overlap (trim if you need to to make sure of this), and put it in the oven (center-ish rack) for 10-15 minutes. While the bacon renders its fat and starts to crisp up, prepare your sprouts. To do this, peel off the loose and dark outer leaves, cut off the stem, and cut each sprout into quarters. Then, chop up your shallot.

When the bacon has gotten crispy (or, as crispy as you want to let it...I go for "cooked but still pliable"), remove it to a paper towel-lined plate. Toss the sprouts and shallots in the rendered fat in the 9x13 pan, and choose which way you're going with your bacon. You have two options:
  1. Reserve the bacon until right before serving, crumbling it on top of the dish at the last minute.
  2. Cut the bacon into lardons, and toss it back into the dish with the sprouts and shallots before roasting.

I tend to go with option #2.

Put the pan back in the oven, and let roast for 40-60 minutes, stirring once or twice during the process. They should be getting caramelized and yummy-smelling near the end, and a fork should go through them with little resistance.

Easy-peasy, and dirties very few dishes. A great go-to side dish for holiday meals.

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