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I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds wonderful. REC: Caramelized Brussel Sprouts w/ Pancetta

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Joined: Mar 10, 2006


Posted to Thread #27225 at 2:50 pm on Jan 19, 2015

I ran across this recipe on page 228 while recently browsing a library book entitled INSIDE THE TEST KITCHEN by Tyler Florence. I plan to try it for an upcoming family gathering. One margin note reads: Pancetta adds flavor without smoke.


Pancetta is pork belly cured in sugar, salt, and spices and then air-dried, whereas bacon is cured and then smoked. We wanted to let the Brussels sprouts shine, so we chose pancetta over bacon to avoid a too-smoky taste. Some people have strong feelings about Brussels sprouts; they
always used to be overcooked and mushy, but ours stay crunchy when roasted and have a great caramelized
flavor. Serve this at your next holiday dinner. Serves 4-6.

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices pancetta
3 shallots
2 garlic cloves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 thyme sprigs
4 slices good sourdough bread
8 fresh sage leaves
1 rosemary sprig, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half, put them on a sheet pan in a single layer, and coat them with a little olive oil. Roughly chop the pancetta and add to the sprouts. Peel the shallots, cut them in half, and add to the sprouts. Cut the garlic cloves in half and add to the pan along with a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper,
and 3 of the thyme sprigs. Roast until the sprouts are caramelized, about 25 minutes, stirring midway.

Cut the bread into 1/4-inch dice. Coat a large saute pan with some olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the bread to the pan along with the sage, rosemary, and remaining 3 thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring, until the bread is toasted well.

Simmer the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the butter, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Set aside.

While the sprouts are still hot, use a spoon to break apart the shallots a bit, then transfer all the vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt. Pour the balsamic glaze over the sprouts and toss. Sprinkle a little Parmesan over the sprouts, then transfer them to a serving dish. Top with the diced bread and more grated Parmesan, and serve immediately.

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