Although, like bananas, I keep trying to like them; I just haven’t had much success. Then I experienced a duck fat fried epiphany at Perbacco. The sprouts had been cooked until tender on the inside and fried to crisp, browned perfection. I couldn’t get enough of them.
So when I saw some Brussels sprouts on sale, I recalled the bacon fat I had lingering in my freezer and thought I’d try something similar – but much cheaper than an evening at Perbacco.
A couple tablespoons of bacon fat, a few pinches of salt and pepper, a sprinkling of Parmesan, and about 7 minutes later, these pan-fried Brussels sprouts came together as a decadent, quick, and easy little side dish for a date-night-at-home dinner with Jay.
Jay even gobbled them up too. Take that, tongue. I’ve finally tallied a point in favor of the little green cabbages in my ongoing battle against my taste buds.
Bacon Fat Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts
Serves about 4 as a side
When shopping, select small, tightly closed brussels sprouts for best results.
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp. bacon fat, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/4 c. Parmesan, finely grated (optional)
Thoroughly wash and dry brussels sprouts. Remove raggedy outer leaves, and trim ends of stems. Cut in half (stem to top). Toss with 1 Tbsp. melted bacon fat (I just zapped the fat in the microwave briefly) until well coated.
Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. bacon fat in a large skillet over medium heat. In a single layer, place brussels sprout halves in the pan flat side down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, cover, and cook until the flat side of the brussels sprouts show just a hint of browning, about 5 minutes. Taste one to gauge whether brussels sprouts are just barely tender. (If not, re-cover and cook for a couple minutes longer.)
Once barely tender, uncover. Crank up heat to high, and cook until flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Toss once or twice to slightly brown the rounded sides.
Remove from heat, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and, if desired, a sprinkling of Parmesan. These are best when served immediately.