Brussel sprouts. You either hate them or love them. There’s no in between. I used to hate them. My mom would make them for Thanksgiving with butter, bacon, and bread crumbs (the 4 B’s!). Then one day, the food gods sent me a recipe in my dreams (ok, so I saw it on TV; it’s the same thing). Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta. I made them and I was in love!
This one skillet meal is super easy to make. Trust me when I say, if you hated brussel sprouts in the past, you will love them now after trying this recipe. I made this for my parents and boyfriend and they loved them! I’m made this dish for Thanksgiving last year and it was a hit!
First, cut up your pancetta in small, bite size pieces. (Pancetta is Italian bacon, by the way.) Next, in a medium to large non stick skillet, put 2 tbsp of olive oil followed by your pancetta. Cook them for 10-15 minutes until they’re nice and crispy. For me, it only took 10 minutes to get them crispy. Once done, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and put them on a piece of paper towel to drain the oil.
Next, with the same oil and pan (you should have the original 2 tbsp of oil remaining, if not add a little more), put your brussel sprouts faced down in the oil to brown. I used frozen sprouts, but you can use fresh ones as well. Cook them for about 3 minutes or until they have a little color (I like to turn them over once to make they get a nice color all over). Next, put in your 1/2 cup of water, cover the pan, and let them steam for another 3 minutes until tender. Once done, poke them with a toothpick or fork to see if they’re tender. If not, keep them cooking until they are. If the water evaporates before they’re tender, just add some more. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and put them on a piece of paper towel.
Next, get rid of the oil from the pan (dump it into the sink or somewhere else; you don’t want the oil in your glaze). Now, put a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar into the same pan (remember no oil in there!) and let that reduce down for about 2 minutes, until it’s syrupy. After it’s reduced, add 2 tbsp of butter into the vinegar and let that melt. Once melted, add the pancetta and brussel sprouts back into the pan and coat it with the balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper.
Viola! You now have a simple and easy one skillet meal. Serve this at your next dinner or holiday party or just make it for dinner for your family. Even the most pickiest eaters will love these! Sweet, crispy, and oh so delicious.
2 oz of pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10 oz Brussel sprouts (about 18 medium sprouts), trimmed and halved through the core
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Heat the pancetta and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy 10-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-low heat until golden and crisp all over, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan.
You should have about 2 tablespoons of drippings left in the pan; if not, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Measure out 1/2 cup water and set aside. Put the pan over medium-high heat and arrange the sprouts cut-side down in a single layer. Cook until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water to the pan, cover immediately and simmer until the sprouts are tender when poked with a fork or skewer, about 3 minutes. (If the water evaporates before the sprouts become tender, add more water 1/4 cup at a time.) Transfer the sprouts to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Return the pan to medium-high heat. (It is fine if any water remains; it will boil off with the vinegar.) Add the vinegar and a few grinds of pepper and boil the vinegar until lightly syrupy and reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter and stir until melted. Return the sprouts and pancetta to the pan and toss to evenly coat with the sauce. Season with salt and more pepper.