Thanksgiving menu item #2. Bacon had to make an appearance somewhere on the buffet table, it is an American holiday all about food after all. Bacon seems quite appropriate. And all those vegi-phobes will be giving extra thanks.
I used thick slabs of bacon so that the pieces held up when tossed with the sprouts, as opposed to crumbling into bacon bits. Cooking bacon in the oven is a new technique for me but I have found that it is not only ridiculously easy but it also allows for uniform crispiness – which seems to elude me every time I make bacon in a frying pan. It will also save your clothes and arms from hot grease splatter. I am sold.
To save time on the big day, make the bacon a day or two in advance. When it comes out of the oven, pour the grease into a glass jar or bowl and reheat to toss with Brussels sprouts – which you can also prep a day ahead, refrigerate in a paper towel-lined bowl. Store bacon (once cool) in tupperware at room temp – just make sure it is out of reach of mischievous snackers!!
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 4 oz thick-cut bacon
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450˚F and lay bacon strips in a single layer on a rack set on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes (the time will really depend on how thick your bacon is) and once done, keep the rendered fat captured in the sheet pan.
- Prep the brussels sprouts: rinse and remove any discolored bits then make sure to dry completely (you can do this with a towel or just letting them air dry.
- Toss the sprouts in the bacon grease, coating fully. Season with salt and pepper (maybe some chili flakes if you like things spicy).
- Cook at 450˚F for 20-25 minutes, until nicely charred and can be pierced with a knife (with slight resistance, you don’t want complete mush).
- Chop the cooled bacon and combine with the cooked sprouts in a serving bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.