Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans

A couple of days before Thanksgiving my office hosted a potluck to celebrate the season together as a staff. We were all asked to bring a side and the office took care of the turkey and ham. And while many would roll their eyes at the idea of another Thanksgiving meal (before Thanksgiving!), my coworker, Judy, pointed out how fun it is to sample everyone’s traditions. I particularly loved Stephanie’s Salad with Prosciutto, Fresh Fennel and Pomegranate Seeds, Margaret’s Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Red Curry and Judy’s Spicy Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro!

I thought it would be fun to tease everyone and make a traditional side that many hate but make them extra special. While brussel sprouts have gotten a bad reputation through the years because of their tendency to end up in salted boiling water until they taste like over cooked boiled baby cabbage – they are particularly delicious when roasted. And what isn’t delicious when roasted in bacon fat?

I got some serious grief from select members of our staff (you know who you are) but many asked for the recipe afterward. So, here it is!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Toasted Pecans

Ingredients:

  • brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 4 slices bacon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pecans

Assembly: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim the brussel sprouts by slicing a bit off the end and removing any tough leaves. Cut them in half (you’ll want to brown the flat side until crispy). Fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet. Remove the bacon and add the brussel sprouts into the bacon fat cut side down. If there isn’t enough bacon fat to coat all the pieces, you may want to add a splash of olive oil. Season the sprouts with salt and pepper. Once all the cut sides are brown, transfer to the skillet to the oven for about 10 minutes (you will want to closely monitor so they don’t over cook). I like my brussel sprouts with a bite. Meanwhile toast the pecans on the stove or in the oven. Once the brussel sprouts are cooked through to your preference (remember, no one prefers mushy sprouts), crumble the bacon and pecans over the sprouts and serve!

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