The first time I ever tried Brussels Sprouts, they were just plain and steamed. Let's say, I was not a fan. Steamed and un-doctored Brussels taste, to me, like something out of a dumpster. The best description I can think of is a cross between rotten broccoli and moldy cabbage.
And then I learned how to really cook them.
I am of the mindset that bacon makes everything better, and when it comes to vegetables in general, that goes double. Bacon, and bacon drippings, really help to mellow out the more bitter, natural flavor of the sprouts. As a Southerner, onion and garlic are going to feature in pretty much every veggie dish imaginable, so no surprise there.
But the secret to really good, bacony Brussels is something I threw in on a whim: a few tablespoons of cider vinegar. That little bit of mildly sweet acidity, added right at the end, really boosts the flavor and provides a nice, tangy balance to the bitter sprouts and salty bacon. This is my husband's absolute favorite way to eat Brussels Sprouts, and it's so quick and easy I never mind throwing them together for a simple supper's side.
- Serves: 6 servings
- Serving size: ⅙ recipe
- Calories: 150.6
- Fat: 11.4 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 8 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 5.3 g
- ¼ cup (4 fl oz) bacon drippings
- 50 g onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 oz Brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 45 g bacon, cooked crisp and cumbled
- Trim, rinse, and quarter your sprouts, and set aside.
- In a skillet, heat bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Once the drippings are hot, add onions and sweat them for one minute.
- Add sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until sprouts are starting to brown. I suggest beginning with 1 tsp salt and several good turns of fresh black pepper, but I like mine good and salty. If you don't like salty sprouts, start with ½ tsp salt and adjust from there.
- Add the minced garlic to the skillet and stir for another 30 seconds.
- Pour in the cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, and continue to cook while stirring and scraping up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Should take another minute or two, or until the sprouts are done to your liking.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Toss in the bacon, mix well, then remove from the heat and serve.