I’ve been making these little guys for a couple years now, and I don’t even know where it came from (feel free to speak up if I stole it from you). I do remember that these sparked my eye shortly after Manfriend and I dined at Central here in DC and he convinced me we should have brussel sprouts. “Brussel sprouts?! Why would we get brussel sprouts at one of the best restaurants in the city?!”
Why? Because they were freaking delicious. So much so that I sought out this recipe and despite the few parallels between my and Michel Richard’s culinary skills, its still fantastic.
As the weather’s been getting cooler–wait, scratch that–as the fall season is supposedly upon us and fall goodies have been showing up at the farmers market, I’ve been jonesing for some sprouts. So, Friday night in Chicago when my mother said “What should we have for dinner?” my mind immediately went to this recipe. The meatloaf and mashed potatoes naturally followed (and they will…in a subsequent post).
At first reading, this seems much more involved and time consuming that it really is. Don’t be scared by “deglazing”…there actually is no way you can mess it up. This also has a good mix of down-time so you can manage your other dishes. And, um, there are 4 ingredients. You can handle it. And you’ll feel like you trained at the knee of Monsieur Richard.
Bacon-Balsamic Brussell Sprouts
4 strips bacon
2 c. brussel sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cook bacon in cast iron or oven safe skillet until brown, but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain.
- Place sprouts cut-side down on bacon fat and cook until bottoms are crisped and browned. During this time, chop the bacon into pieces. ( I enjoy the act of crumbling bacon with my hands. To each their own.)
- Drop bacon and garlic on top of sprouts and place in oven 4 minutes. (I usually do a little longer.)
- Remove from oven and deglaze pan with vinegar. Stir until all liquid is absorbed. (A wooden spoon works best. Don’t be scared of the steam. Scrape up all the bits on the pan until it stops bubbling. Voila!) Season with salt and pepper to taste.