Note: Slab bacon is ideal for this recipe, though sliced bacon will work in a pinch. You can also substitute your favorite cured pork product. Prosciutto, guanciale, or Spanish dry-cured chorizo all work well. If your brussels sprouts are very large (greater than 1 1/2 inches), par-cook them by dropping them in boiling water until slightly tender but still crisp (about 5 minutes) then transferring to ice bath before continuing with recipe as directed.
Read more: The Food Lab: Brussels Sprouts Worth Eating
- Yield:serves 6 to 8
- Active time: 40 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch by 1/4-inch lardons
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds small brussels sprouts, outer leaves discarded, stems trimmed, split in half
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add bacon and olive oil to 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add enough water to barely cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring to break up bacon. Allow water to completely evaporate, about 8 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring and tossing occasionally until bacon is crisp on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to fine mesh strainer set over large heat-proof bowl.
Toss sprouts in bowl with bacon fat until well coated. Wipe out skillet and add 1 teaspoon bacon fat. Heat over high heat until smoking. Add as many sprouts as fit in single layer face down to skillet and cook without moving until deeply charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on until second side is charred and sprouts are tender-crisp throughout, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to serving bowl.
Repeat with remaining sprouts. Add rendered bacon to serving bowl and toss all to combine. Serve immediately.