Bacon + Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts


Having just tied the knot, my husband Alex and I are learning to create our own traditions in our Downtown Memphis kitchen. I’m the rabbi’s daughter who never cooked with pork until young adulthood, and Alex is an Arkansas-raised Southern gentlemen who doesn’t validate a dish without the “treif” (non-kosher food).

During a Mississippi Delta getaway at the Alluvian Hotel a few winters ago, we savored every second of a Viking Cooking School date night. Until that evening, Alex’s cooking confidence was little to none; but it was during the Brussels sprouts + bacon side prep that, suddenly, I saw his passion shine. I had always taken on the “chef” role, but at that moment he was teaching me how to properly brown bacon. Our growing love for nights in the kitchen is all thanks to that bacon-filled moment.

I am all about recipes that provoke comfort and ease the evenings after stressful workdays; this recipe reaps a sweet and savory combination for any season and occasion.

Serves 8

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, scrubbed and halved
5 applewood-smoked bacon slices, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, approximately 8 minutes. Carefully transfer bacon to paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in the skillet.

2. Add butter to skillet, now set over medium-high heat. Once melted, stir in brown sugar and cook 1 minute, or until sugar is melted and sauce slightly thickens.

3. Add Brussels to pan, cooking 2-3 minutes undisturbed to create a caramelized crust. Stir and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Inspired by Southern Living’s Brussels Sprouts with Applewood Bacon