Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Created by: Heidi, Foodie Crush

The key to getting these sprouts crispy is to let them cook undisturbed in the heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet cut side down so the caramelization process can begin. All vegetables become sweeter with that continued exposure to higher heat, releasing the sugars within.

There’s no need to cook the sprouts before adding them to the pan. They become tender and delicious as they cook all the way through. Simply cover with a lid, and let them do their thing.

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  • ½ pound pancetta, cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is fragrant and beginning to crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  2. While the pancetta is cooking, trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half from the root to the tips of the sprout. Raise the temperature of the pan to medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts cut side down in an even layer, and cook for 4-5 minutes and the sprouts begin to brown and caramelize, then turn, season with kosher salt and black pepper, reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Add another tablespoon of oil to the bottom of the pan if needed. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the sprouts are fork tender.
  3. Add the pancetta back to the pan with the sprouts. Whisk the remaining tablespoon of olive oil with the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and add to the sprouts, tossing to coat, and cook for another minute or two, so the sprouts are still fork tender but not mushy. Season with more kosher salt and ground black pepper and serve.

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