Braised Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

I’m beginning to love brussel sprouts more and more. I’ve decided they’re kind of like that sour puss uncle everybody’s got and it’s really all about how you handle them to get what you want. If you want delicious, these deliver. And so easy.

Brussel sprouts, shallots, pancetta, and a little bit of dijon mustard and voila. You’ve got a delicious side dish.

 

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Here’s a picture of my pancetta, because why not? Usually, I would have cooked this in my cast iron, (which begs the question, why do I only have ONE?? I’ll be rectifying that very soon.) but it was busy cooking up my pan gravy delciousness. But any old pan will do the trick. So, I browned my pancetta, removed them from the pan but left the grease and threw some thinly sliced shallots with a dash of salt in to cook.

 

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After they started looking like this ^^^, I added my dijon mustard and a little chicken stock. (I made my own for my pan gravy that I mentioned earlier and reserved about a half cup for this. There’s an earlier post that I have about making your own stock and again, if you aren’t doing this already, do it now. Seafood Stock. Or chicken. or beef. Just substitute the protein of your choice.) I whisked this together until my mustard was totally incorporated and then added another half cup of water. Then I folded in my brussel sprouts. I cut my heat down to med low, and let them cook til most of the liquid had dissolved. I added back in my pancetta, and stirred until all the liquid was dissolved. I had a little balsamic vinegar reduction that I keep by the stove and I threw a little  on top of this but that’s just me. Stir, then serve.

Braised Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

Ingredients:

1 1lb bag of brussel sprouts, sliced thinly

1 5 oz pkg pancetta, diced

1 shallot, sliced thin

1 tbs dijon mustard

1/2 c  chicken stock

1/2 c water

(optional: lightly toss in balsamic vinegar reduction just before serving)

 

Directions:

Heat pan to med high heat. Cook pancetta. Remove from pan, but leave the grease. Add shallot. Once they begin to brown, add mustard and a little salt. Add chicken stock and whick till fully incorporated. Add water. Add brussel sprouts and cut heat down to med low. Stir frequently. Once liquid is almost totally dissolved, add pancetta. Continue to stir and cook until liquid is gone. Toss in balsamic vinegar reduction and serve.

 

Perfect Creamed Potatoes

I don’t even have a good picture of these potatoes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading. These potatoes are tried and true- creamy, rich and silky smooth. You can add in some garlic, cooked bacon that’s been diced, a little sour cream, chives, shredded cheese, etc. Whatever you want. But this is the perfect base. Every time. (Helpful hint: when mixing potato mixture, throw a dish towel on top of the pot and over the mixer. This catches any little pieces that want to go flying out when you turn the mixer on.)

Ingredients:

5 or 6 potatoes, peeled and diced into thick chucks

6 tbs butter

3/4 c heavy whipping cream

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put peeled and diced potatoes in large pot. Cover with water. Boil 12- 15 minutes until tender. Drain. Add butter. Add heavy cream. Add salt and pepper. Using hand mixer, beat on low to med speed until smooth and all lumps are gone. Serve immediately.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

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Brussels sprouts. I remember my mom serving them steamed with a little butter as a child, and while they weren’t terrible, they definitely weren’t good. But at Mama’s house, that doesn’t matter. You ate what was on your plate or you didn’t leave the table. So fast forward 2o years and that’s how long it would be before I ate another one. These definitely aren’t your mother’s Brussels sprouts.

Disclaimer* My mother is a wonderful cook. The fact that Brussels sprouts just don’t taste good steamed, is in no way a reflection of her. I feel pretty sure that anyone whose Mom served them sprouts that way is agreeing with me at this very moment.

 

Bacon. Or Bacon’s favorite cousin, Pancetta. I’m partial to pancetta, but you can use whatever you’ve got. This recipe is so easy and so good. Something magical happens to Brussels sprouts when you roast them. The natural bitterness melts away and the outer leaves crisp up and you really don’t have to do anything to them. Sometimes when I make this dish, I do a quick balsamic vinegar reduction that I drizzle on top, but I think my favorite way is like this. This is a great week night quick and easy side dish that will become a staple at your house, like it has mine.

 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

1 lb bag fresh Brussels sprouts

1 tbs olive oil

5 oz pancetta, diced

salt and pepper to taste

fresh grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Move rack to upper most position. Wash sprouts, then cut off the hard stems on the bottom. Cut into halves or quarters. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix with pancetta. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet or I used a cast iron. Bake about 10 minutes, when sprouts begin to brown. Gently turn them over, bake another 10 minutes or until they are brown and crispy. Remove from oven and serve, with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.