Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts
- 454g (1 lb) Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 4 slices bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 2 Tbsps butter
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 2 Tbsps maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
DirectionsTrim and halve the brussel sprouts. In a large pan, cook the lardons over medium-high heat until browned and crispy. Strain and remove to plate lined with paper towels, set aside. Put pan back on the heat, add the butter, oil, and garlic. Cook until butter is completely melted and garlic is slightly browned. Add sprouts and salt, toss to coat with butter/oil. Cook until sprouts are cooked through and slightly browned. Add the syrup and cook until syrup starts to caramelize the Brussels sprouts. Add the chilli oil and bacon back into the pan. Cook for 60 seconds, stirring constantly. Serve.
And now for the details…
This is one of my favourite side dishes. Crispy, sweet, and hot Brussel sprouts, that are rich and satisfying. This is saying a lot for me. I used to hate brussel sprouts. Remember my thoughts on cooked cabbage? (Reminder: smells like farts.) This extends to brussel sprouts. Especially if they have been steamed. Blech.
However, when I discovered pan fried brussel sprouts for the first time, I was shocked at the transformation of this veggie from a mushy, flatulent predicament, to a crispy, caramelized bundle of joy.
This recipe pulls together sweet, salty, spicy and rich. Is it still a vegetable dish? Oh sure. But are they just a vegetable when they’re browned, slightly crispy and oh so goooooood.
Let’s get started.
Prepare the brussel sprouts by washing them, trimming the ends, and cutting them in half. If any excess leaves come off when you trim the ends, dispose of those, especially if they are looking a little rough. Prepare the garlic by peeling it and cutting it into slices.
Before we start cooking the sprouts, we are going to cook the bacon. Cut the bacon into small slices, also known as lardons. Cook them on medium-high heat until they are browned and crispy. Set the bacon aside on a dish lined with paper towels. Drain off most of the bacon fat from the pan, but don’t worry about wiping it down.
Next, add the butter and oil to the pan, then add the garlic slices. Cook until the garlic has just started to brown, then add the brussel sprouts and season with salt to taste. Stir the sprouts regularly, allowing the sprouts to cook through and brown on the outsides.
Once the sprouts have cooked most of the way through, add the maple syrup and chilli oil to the pan. Stir, coating all the sprouts with the syrup, and allowing the syrup to start caramelizing and crisping up the sprouts.
Once the liquid has completely cooked down and the sprouts are your preferred level of brown and crispy, add the lardons back into the pan and cook for one more minute to heat everything through. Transfer to a dish and serve!