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Roasted Brussels Sprouts - would this work?

I consulted many different sources for a simple recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots. (I couldn't recall how I did them last year.) It looked like many recipes had me cooking the bacon and shallots in a saucepan, and then tossing the roasted sprouts in them after they finished roasting.

What would happen it I tossed the (halved) sprouts in raw bacon and shallots - and then roasted them? I would also toss some olive oil, salt and pepper - and I was also thinking about splashing in some balsamic.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. I've always roasted the bacon and shallots with the sprouts themselves. I use a little less oil since there is bacon fat. It's always turned out great this way. I would splash the balsamic in the last 5-10 minutes of roasting to get the full flavor.

    3 Replies
    1. re: beetlebug

      Brilliant! Thank you. How high and how long? Thanks again.......

      1. re: cackalackie

        For regular consumption, I usually go about 425 for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10. But, for turkey day, I'll do it for 20 minutes ahead of time. Pull the tray aside until close to dinner, and then go to 450. During the 450, I add the balsamic vinegar and roast for another 5-10 minutes.

        1. re: beetlebug

          I'll probably be doing it right before dinner (perhaps after something else has come out). So I'll stick with the 30 at 425. Thanks again......

    2. i partially boil my sprouts while cooking my bacon and shallots then toss the sprouts in with everything and pan fry for a few minutes to get them nice and crispy..

      1. Rather than start a new thread I'll ask my question here. I was going to steam my brussels sprouts the day before & shock them. Then before dinner I was going to cook my pancetta & a little garlic & toss the already cooked sprouts in with them to heat up. Does that sound like the most flavorful way to do it? Should I add some type of nut in there too? Pine nuts? Pecans? Also, do you think a splash of balsamic at the end would be good? I don't want to roast the sprouts.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sparkareno

          I did run across a recipe that included pine nuts. But pecans would work as well I think.

          1. re: sparkareno

            I cook sprouts like this all the time - it's become the standard method around here. I usually braise them from raw with a little white wine or broth, but pre-steaming/blanching is the classic strategy for a dish that gives a quick finish, which is a handy thing when you're preparing a big meal. That's one reason this is the standard European hotel/restaurant way to treat a lot of vegetables - they finish them in butter, usually, and make a virtue of it!

            1. re: Will Owen

              After testing my recipe last night (roasting them in pork fat reserved from crisping pancetta) I think it is a good idea to partially steam the sprouts to start -- I think the sprouts are less bitter that way. My split, roasted sprouts had good flavor, but the roasting caused some darkening of some outer leaves and a slightly pronounced bitterness. I had no problem polishing them off. A little bitter is normal and good. I just think steaming first and roasting for shorter time will be better.

            2. re: sparkareno

              I've done it that way with pine nuts and it was really good. I think pecans would taste great, too. I'd have balsamic on the side for people who want to add it because it stands alone well w/out it. I leave the brussel sprouts cut side down on the pan. It gets a little smokey but you get the nice caramelization.

            3. Any thoughts on scaling up?
              How many sprouts per person do you make? I don't know the eating habits of half the folks at this table...know some of them are lovers of Brussels...

              3 Replies
              1. re: pitu

                I think the mesh bag I got the other day was about 12 ounces. And for me, that was about 4 servings. Some people are "scared of sprouts." But I'm going to use 2 bags for 8 people.

                1. re: cackalackie

                  what if they're on stalks?
                  That is, anybody have a sense of number sprouts per person instead of weight? One internet source roughed it out at 6 each, but that wasn't a holiday meal and wasn't being shredded, which is the general plan.

                  btw, the Momofuku book has the recipe for the very delicious brussels sprouts with viet fish sauce dressing that they serve at the restaurant.

                2. re: pitu

                  There are a deceptive amount of sprouts on a stalk. Last time, a stalk was good for 4 of us. But, when it's just C and me, we buy a lb just for ourselves. For thanksgiving, I usually buy about 2 lbs for 8 people. There are never any leftovers. Odd, for all the people who purport to hate sprouts, these are always the first to go. Then again, it could be me and a couple of other people who eat them all.

                3. I think your recipe sounds good - instead of balsamic, try a mix of brown sugar and vermouth. Toss and cook in this coating with your other ingredients.....It was very good the one time I cooked them this way.