Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans

An easy and delicious side dish, roasted Brussels sprouts is a popular choice for Christmas dinner.

A Palatable Pastime
Roasting Brussels sprouts brings out their sweetness. Add bacon for savory flavor and pecans for crunch.

This November, I had the chance to visit with Certified Angus Beef Brand, one of the sponsors of the Sunday Supper Movement up in Wooster Ohio, which is about 250 miles north of here. The invite was a bit short notice so I drove up there, enjoying the scenery along the way. It is out in the thick of Ohio Amish country, if you’re not familiar with the area. It is very pretty up there, with rolling farmland that reminds me a bit of northern Illinois near Chicago and up into Wisconsin. In Cincinnati, the land is pretty flat. like much of the land that extends from the southern half of Ohio through Indiana and Illinois.

I visited their Culinary and Education center and learned a lot about angus beef, roasting techniques and other things that food bloggers like yours truly bend an ear to.

We also dined in style.  One of the recipes that Chef Tony Biggs prepared for us there at one particular luncheon was this recipe by Le Creuset for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans. Everyone loved it.

I was so excited about it, in fact, that a couple of weeks ago I went out and bought myself a new small sized braiser from the Le Creuset outlet just to make these Sprouts in. 

I am not a big fan of Brussles sprouts cooked in water, and in fact didn’t like them at all until I tried roasting them around 15 years ago. Until  then it was only steamed "Brussies" with cheese sauce, and only when my husband (who adores them) nagged me to the point of shame. And you know, now, he doesn’t like the steamed "Brussies" either. So go figure. Roasting does something to this cruciferous vegetable that makes it much more palatable. And you know Palatable is my favorite word.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans
Serves 4 to 6

2 ounces bacon lardons
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 pound 5 ounces Brussels sprouts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Trim sprouts and cut any large ones in half.

3. Set the braiser over medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and the pecans and cook 4 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and pecans from the braiser.

4. Add the sprouts to the braiser, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Put the braiser in the preheated oven and roast the sprouts 20 – 30 minutes until they start to brown and become tender, but before they lose some of their bite, stirring after 10-15 minutes.

6. Add the bacon and pecans, and return to the oven to heat through for 2 – 3 minutes.

7. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and toss to combine. Serve hot.

Related post on A Palatable Pastime: Old World Brussels Sprouts Soup

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