Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon or Pancetta

There are many ways to prepare Brussel sprouts to provide a healthy and tasty side dish. This Brussel sprouts and Pancetta recipe is one of many Brussel sprouts recipes that we will gradually be showing you on this blog.

We think Brussel sprouts (or Brussels sprouts) are an underrated vegetable. Sprouts can provide a perfect accompaniment to many dishes, especially a Sunday roast, if prepared properly.

They are a member of the Gemmifera group of cabbages and look like mini cabbages. Sprouts however grow on a stalk, as opposed to larger cabbages that grow on the ground.

crispy bacon Brussel sprouts

School food

A lot of people I know, including myself, did not like eating Brussel sprouts at an early age.

This was because in the ‘old days’ people used to boil sprouts! Not only does overcooking them makes them rather soggy, but it also tends to destroy the nutrients in the vegetable.

Brussel sprouts with bacon
Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

I remember back at preparatory school in the 70’s, when a certain ‘Irene’ used to help serve up our school lunches.

She would stand there with a burning Benson & Hedges (cigarette) clamped securely in the corner of her mouth. The inch long piece of ash would cling for dear life to the butt, until it inevitably lost the fight and dropped into the mashed potatoes.

Boiled sprouts there were one of the vegetables that really would make you want to cry, they were so bad. The fag ash didn’t help.

sauteed Brussel sprouts recipes

 

Now, however, I think Brussel sprouts have been reinvented. My wife loves them, as I now do, and we find the naturally bitter taste can be perfectly mitigated.

We also love eating them cooked together with chestnuts.

The taste and texture depend on how you cook them. You can easily produce a very complimentary taste to many different meals.

sprouts recipes bacon

We are now discovering different ways to use them as an accompaniment for some of our meals. In this picture below we have combined them with some mashed potato and fried chicken pieces.

sprouts recipe with chicken

Freezing Brussel Sprouts

One of the problems is that Brussel sprouts (at least in Northern latitudes), have a distinct season between about September to March. This means we traditionally needed to find nice winter meals for them to accompany.

I read on the internet that you can freeze sprouts which would be great as we could then use them throughout the year.

I tried doing this earlier this year but have to report that it was not really a success. There was some deterioration of the plants during the freezing process. So we will just have to enjoy them over the winter.

brussel sprouts recipe with bacon

 

Preparation of Main ingredient

Be aware that the preparation of Brussel sprouts can take some time. They need to be individually cut and peeled and then rinsed together.

I tend to do it in front of the television (Netflix boxset usually) as it can be a bit tedious, especially if you are making a large batch.

This side dish is suited to accompany anything needing a combination of bitter and savoury salt as a compliment.

As an alternative to Brussels sprouts with pancetta, you could also try Brussels sprouts with bacon. This is very similar and depends really on whatever is easiest and cheapest for you to procure locally.

I am tempted to use streaky bacon, as the delicious bacon fat helps coat the sprouts and add some extra saltiness to the taste. This recipe also uses a mix of different oils which all impart an individual flavour to the sprouts when they are being crisped up.

I hope you enjoy it. Please give some feedback below if you do!

How to make Sprouts with Pancetta

Brussel Sprouts and Pancetta

Brussel sprouts with pancetta

This delicious side dish is a perfect accompaniment to a traditional Sunday roast, Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g pancetta (or bacon lardons)
  • 200g pre-prepared Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 tbsp Peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp Walnut oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Brussels sprouts. Do this by chopping off the stalk end and peeling off the outer leaves until you have a clean sprout.
  2. Then rinse in water and let them air dry in a sieve. 
  3. If the sprouts are large ones, then cut them into halves, or quarters to suit.
  4. Heat and mix the oils in a skillet.
  5. Add the sprouts and the pancetta, and sprinkle with garlic powder. Stirring occasionally over medium heat until the sprouts and pancetta is cooked. 5-10 minutes. The sprouts should show some charring here and there.
  6. Season to suit before serving.

Notes

Serve up on the plate with your main course, or alternatively serve in a separate bowl to let people serve themselves.

Unfortunately not everyone out there loves sprouts like we do. 

 

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