I could say it's B for BABY but seriously it's not.
Speaking of, I had the weirdest comment after yoga the other day. I taught what I hope was a good class, and one of the students afterward was all "it was soooooo sweet to hear you tell us to enter into happy baby or take a fetal position for savasana....just like you were already a mama!" Um. I say those things literally every single class that I teach. Projecting much? It was one of those students that are really ... in touch ... with other's energy, in their minds, and who knows, maybe I'm just GLOWING with impending motherhood, but also don't you think that sometimes people see what they want to see in you? Anyway. If I use words that start with B it's just a coincidence. And Happy Baby is a legit yoga position and I don't know the sanskrit word for it so we're kind of stuck there.
Moving on. No offense to the energy-lovers of the world. It's your newest fall side dish, just in time for your Thanksgiving planning, perhaps? There are only 4 ingredients. I had intentions of adding garlic and walnuts and all kinds of toppings, but in the end wanted the method of braising AND crisping the sprouts to be the main focus here and balsamic + bacon always get the flavor job done, right? Also, one skillet. 20 minutes. Side dish.
In addition to Brussels sprouts, you need bacon, chicken broth, and balsamic glaze. If you don't own balsamic glaze you can reduce some balsamic vinegar with a touch of sugar to make your own. Google it. It's easy!
Then, crisp the bacon in the pan you'll use for the whole dish. A cast iron skillet is best, but you want something large enough that you can get all the sprouts in one layer to be sure they cook evenly. We do the bacon in the same pan so that the sprouts can cook in the bacon grease, duh. Put the bacon in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium-high, and flip it around once the skillet gets hot until it's crispy.
Into the bacon grease in the hot pan, add all of the sprouts in one layer. Let them sizzle for 1 minute, then stir them around and arrange them back into one layer so that they can get crispy on both sides.
Now, here's where the braising comes in! Let the stock come to a bubble, then let it reduce all the way. The sprouts basically boil/steam/braise in the stock, but they're already browned from the bacon grease.
When the stock has completely evaporated, the sprouts should be bright green and tender but not mushy. Crumble the bacon over top and drizzle everything with the balsamic glaze and BOOM. Side dish, check.
Braised Brussels + Bacon + Balsamic
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved or quartered to bite-sized
- ½ - 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- In a large cold skillet, add the bacon in one layer and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon for 5-10 minutes, flipping, until crispy and cooked through. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain, saving the bacon grease in the skillet.
- To the bacon grease, add the sprouts in one single layer. Let sizzle for one minute to brown, then flip the sprouts and arrange back into one single layer in the skillet. Pour the chicken stock over the skillet, enough to come up halfway on the sprouts.
- Let the stock reduce completely out of the pan. The sprouts should be bright green and tender but not mushy; add a bit more stock and repeat the braising process if needed to finish cooking the Brussels.
- When the sprouts are cooked, crumble the bacon over the entire skillet and drizzle with the balsamic drizzle. Serve straight from the skillet. Enjoy!