Spicy Pancetta Brussel Sprouts


Spicy Honey Pancetta Brussel Sprouts

[Editor’s note: For this week’s recipe we turned to Ted’s better half, Jamie. She’s a self-trained gourmand with a passion for fresh, seasonal vegetables. We’ll let her take it from here.]
 
Having just moved back to the east coast from San Francisco, I’ve been delighted by the changing of the seasons and how that impacts what I cook—every 3-4 months I have a new palate of flavors to work with. By cooking seasonally, the food is always fresher, meals are always tastier, and the produce will be cheaper. Who doesn’t love gourmet food without breaking the bank?
 
When fall and winter roll around, one of the many veggies I turn to are Brussels sprouts. This wonderful vegetable has an unfortunate reputation simply due to how they were prepared by generations before us. Typically boiled, the lowly sprout was nearly tasteless. And don’t get me started on the texture. Many of us have less-than-fond memories of this being served at the dinner table.
 
All of this can be solved by pan or oven roasting with a few cooking staples to add depth of flavor. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. I promise that after trying this recipe once, you’ll forget all about grandma’s stinky kitchen and mushy sprouts.
 
I obviously love it with Bees Knees because it adds an additional level of sweetness and a hint of spice. We typically pair it with a pork tenderloin, but any meat will benefit from a side of these sprouts.
 
Here’s how I like to make it:
 
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts
  • 3 slices of thickly cut pancetta diced into small cubes (ask your butcher for 1/4” slices)
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A generous squeeze of Bees Knees Spicy Honey 

Trim brussels sprouts of small stems and cut larger sprouts in half, leaving smaller sprouts whole. Rinse in a colander and set aside.

 

Heat oil in a large non-stick or heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Once hot add diced pancetta and cook for 5 minutes until the fat starts to render, stirring frequently. Make sure to scrape the hardened bits of pancetta from skillet. These are little pieces of heaven you surely don’t want to leave in the pan.
 
Add sliced shallots and crushed garlic to pan and cook until shallots are soft and garlic is fragrant, 3-5 minutes.

Add trimmed sprouts to the pan along with a few grinds of pepper and a small pinch of salt. Be carful not to over salt the sprouts, the pancetta has already done a good job of seasoning the mixture.
 
Now roast the sprouts on the stovetop for a good 20-30 minutes or until cooked to your liking. I prefer mine crispy which means about 30 minutes. Don’t forget to stir a few times and release those delicious caramelized bits (can you tell how much I like the bits!?). Once the sprouts are cooked add a heathy glob of Bee’s Knees Spice honey directly to the pan and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately. Await compliments.
 
Alternatively, you can roast the dish in a 400 degree oven for the same amount of time if you’re short on stovetop space or don’t have the time to stir throughout the cooking process. Just pop the whole pan in the oven after you have incorporated the sprouts with the pancetta, shallot and garlic.

Voila! You now have a lovely side dish that your guests will adore and sprout-haters eaters will be converted into sprout-lovers!


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