Actually, I really love brussels sprouts, but I just wanted to make a dramatic statement about bacon, which I’m also enamored of. I found this recipe in The Bacon Cookbook during my bacon frenzy and really enjoyed how beautifully all its flavors came together. The subtle sweetness of the apple does a great job of balancing out the sprouts, so don’t worry if you’re not usually a fan of bitter veggies. And though I know bacon can generally speak for itself, I wanted to sing praises for how its savory smokiness adds delicious depth to the dish anyhow.
Since it was my first time cooking brussels sprouts ever, I wanted to make sure I was doing the prep work correctly. Because the sprouts I picked up at the market were rather large, I chopped them in half and scored them according to this video instead of cutting Xs on the bases.
All in all, it’s a deliciously buttery dish that’s hearty enough for a frigid winter day and bright enough on the off chance that we get a few days of sunshine. Mm mm good!
Brussels Sprouts Braised with Bacon and Apple
from The Bacon Cookbook
- 1 quart fresh Brussels sprouts
- 2 slices lean hickory-smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cooking apple, cored and cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
Remove and discard any wilted leaves from the Brussels sprouts, trim off the stems (but not too close or the sprouts will fall apart), cut an X in the base of each sprout, and set aside.
In a large, heavy skillet (not cast-iron), fry the bacon over moderate heat till it releases its fat, add the butter to the fat, add the Brussels sprouts, and stir gently till they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the apple and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and nutmeg, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook till the sprouts are tender and the apple has softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.