I understand that not everyone thinks they like Brussels sprouts. If you’re one of those people, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. This recipe makes Brussels sprouts (yes, that’s what they’re really called… none of that “brussell sprouts” nonsense around here!) not only edible, but delicious.
Now, I’m famous for disliking anything overly sweet. I often have to modify my recipes to add extra sugar for company, because when I cook for myself, I prefer to rely more on… you know… real flavor. (Ooooh, burn!) The point is, when I eat brown sugar or maple-glazed Brussels sprouts at other people’s houses, I often find them too sticky and sickly-sweet. The idea is good, especially with the addition of some salty ham or bacon, but in practice I often find it isn’t balanced. Thus, in my own version I add a little apple cider vinegar. It burns off by the time you serve, but leaves a nice tangy, tender sprout to balance out the buttery (or bacon-y) sweet-and-salty in which it’s candied.
Note: When I have ham or bacon around, I use it, so I’m including it in the recipe. If Gabrielle and her fiancé (who doesn’t eat pork) were coming for dinner, I’d simply use butter and a nice heavy hand with the salt.
Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts Recipe
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 3 slices bacon (or salted ham plus 1 Tbsp butter)
- ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
Trim the stem ends off your sprouts and cut them in half, removing any wilted outside leaves. Brown your bacon in a hot frying pan to render out the fat, then remove from the pan and set aside. (If you’re using ham instead, simply melt the butter. You’ll toss the ham in later.) Put Brussels sprouts into the pan and brown slightly, sprinkling with black pepper. Pour in your apple cider vinegar and cover the pan with a lid, leaving a small crack for some steam to escape. Steam sprouts for 5-10 minutes (depending on size), until tender. Meanwhile, dice your bacon or ham. Sprinkle the sprouts in the pan with brown sugar, tossing to coat, and then add the meat. Allow 45-60 seconds for everything together, then serve hot.