Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

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Looking for something special to bring to Thanksgiving Dinner? Try these very easy, no-angst Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta from Sweet Daddy D.  Tender, not mushy. Roasting the seared Brussels Sprouts brings out the natural sweetness. Garlic, thyme and pancetta lend a nice earthiness and the lemon adds a spark! You’ll impress everyone and may even convert a few to be Brussels sprouts fans. The best part…it’s only 6 ingredients,  you can do it all in one pan and get it done in about 35 minutes.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

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Here’s What You Need

Fresh Brussels Sprouts….that’s what I’ve always used, but I bet you could use the frozen Brussels.  Pancetta is cured pork belly, just like bacon, but unlike bacon it is not smoked. It is delicious and contributes to the savory characteristics of this dish. You’ll find it in the deli section at the grocery story where it comes thinly sliced or diced. Go for the diced, if it’s available, as it will hold up better to the searing. The rest of the ingredients are pretty simple…chopped garlic, a little bit of dry thyme, both of which really go well with the brussels sprouts, I think. We’ll use a small amount of chicken stock to help the cooking process along, After it roasts we’ll hit it with a little fresh lemon juice to add some brightness to the flavor. Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper finish it off, along with a beer. I use a heavy cast iron skillet for this because it’s perfect for going from the stove top to the oven, but if you don’t have cast iron, make sure to use something that’s oven safe.

Here’s What You Need

First…you have a beer. Recipes don’t get much easier than this one, but its made even easier with a little mise en place.  Pop a cap and read through the recipe to make sure you have everything you need. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. The pancetta should be already diced..set it aside. Remove the outer leaves of the Brussels, chop off the stem end and slice them in half length ways…that’s the hardest task there is here, so… like I said, it’s easy. Place the cleaned Brussels in a colander and give them a rinse, set them aside to drain and they’ll be ready when you need them. Chop a couple of cloves of garlic and measure out all the other ingredients (all three of them!).  A nice swig of beer and you’re ready to go.

Brussels Sprouts cut in half in a bowl
Prep the Brussels Sprouts and slice in half
Fry the Pancetta

Start in a cold cast iron pan. Place the pancetta in the pan, turn the fire to medium-high and stir it occasionally  as it starts to cook and the fat renders-this is the major flavor contributor. This should only take about 5 minutes.

Pancetta frying in a cast iron skillet
Render the fat from the pancetta
Add the Garlic and Brussels

Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and place in a small bowl, leaving as much of that rendered fat as possible…I don’t have to tell you that’s where most of the flavor comes from. Add in the garlic and stir that around for about 1 minutes then add the Brussels Sprouts. Stir and shake the pan to help get all the Brussels coated with the fat. Do this for about 5 minutes and it will start to brown on the edges.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta in a cast iron skillet
Saute the Brussels Sprouts with the garlic in the pancetta fat
Add the Herbs and Stock

When the edges start to brown, add the thyme, some kosher salt and ground pepper and the chicken stock. Shake the pan back and forth so everything is incorporated. After another 5 minutes, the stock should be well on the way to reduction.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta in a cast iron skillet
Add the thyme, salt and pepper and reduce the stock before placing the whole thing in the oven

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Into the Oven and Ready

Now move the skillet from the stove top right into the preheated 425 degree oven. Let them roast for about 10 minutes, then check for done-ness by probing a couple with a toothpick. You are looking for a fairly firm, slightly tender Brussels, but not too soft. If the toothpick goes in with a little resistance, you have it. Take the skillet out of the oven, add back the pancetta and any fat that’s accumulated in the bowl and throw in the fresh lemon juice…give it a good stir.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta in a cast iron skillet
Out of the oven, add back the pancetta and some lemon…there you have it

That’s it, all there is to it. Simple as that. Man, these are good!

Hints and Tips

  • Brussels Sprouts are good for you. They are high in nutrients, rich in antioxidants and a good source of Fiber and Vitamins K and C. Read more about the nutritional benefits of Brussels Sprouts here.
  • Pancetta can be fairly salty, so you should only salt it slightly at first. Taste at the end and add more salt if desired.
  • Make sure to get the diced pancetta. The thinly sliced pancetta may scorch in a hot oven.
  • Pancetta is similar to bacon in that it is made from cured pork belly, but it is not smoked as bacon is. Bacon is a good substitute for pancetta in this dish, but the flavor profile may be altered slightly depending on how the bacon was smoked. You can even substitute Prosciutto or Canadian bacon for the pancetta. I’m betting that it will still be delicious. 
  • If you don’t have chicken stock, you can substitute vegetable stock, chicken bouillon or even water (if you have to).
  • This is best prepared in a cast iron skillet because it’s heavy and can go from the stove top to the oven.  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use any heavy bottom, oven safe skillet. If you have neither, after sauteing the brussels sprouts in the herbs and stock, place them in a prepared, heavy baking sheet for the oven.

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Yeah You Right!

 

Sweet Daddy D's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Bring out the natural sweetness in these Brussels Sprouts by searing, then roasting. The thyme, garlic and pancetta add a savory depth and a squeeze of lemon adds some brightness. The best part? This simple side dish is only 6 ingredients and can be done in one pan! This is a great side dish that goes with just about anything.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 137
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 137
Sweet Daddy D's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Bring out the natural sweetness in these Brussels Sprouts by searing, then roasting. The thyme, garlic and pancetta add a savory depth and a squeeze of lemon adds some brightness. The best part? This simple side dish is only 6 ingredients and can be done in one pan! This is a great side dish that goes with just about anything.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 137
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 137
This is What You Need
This is What You Do
  1. Trim the end off the Brussels sprouts, remove outer leaves and slice in half length-wise.
  2. Rinse Brussels in a colander and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Add the diced pancetta to a cold cast iron pan (or other heavy bottom-oven safe pan).
  5. Turn the heat to medium high under the pan and sauté the pancetta to render out the fat.
  6. Once the pancetta has rendered, remove it (but leave the fat) from the pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel, reserve for to use later.
  7. Add the chopped garlic and stir in the pancetta fat for about a minute.
  8. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pancetta fat and sauté over medium high heat until starting to brown on the edges, about five minutes.
  9. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and chicken stock and mix well.
  10. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes over medium high heat while the stock reduces slightly.
  11. Place the cast iron pan in the 425 degree oven and roast for about 10 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender but firm when probed with a toothpick. You do not want them soft, just barely tender.
  12. Remove from the oven and add back the fried pancetta and squeeze some lemon juice over the brussels sprouts. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Mix well and serve.
Recipe Notes

Pancetta can be fairly salty, so you should only salt it slightly at first. Taste at the end and add more salt if desired.

Make sure to get the diced pancetta. The thinly sliced pancetta may scorch in a hot oven.

Pancetta is similar to bacon in that it is made from cured pork belly, but it is not smoked as bacon is. Bacon is a good substitute for pancetta in this dish, but the flavor profile may be altered slightly depending on how the bacon was smoked.  Other substitutes-prosciutto and Canadian bacon! I’m betting that it will still be delicious.

It is best to prepare this in a cast iron skillet because it can go from the stove top to the oven.  If you don't have a cast iron skillet, use a heavy bottom, oven safe skillet. If you have neither, after sauteing the brussels sprouts in the herbs and stock, place them in a prepared, heavy backing sheet for the oven.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Daddy D's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 137 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 502mg 21%
Potassium 318mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 2g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 11%
Vitamin C 110%
Calcium 3%
Iron 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

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