Fall Fest: Our Best Pork-Filled Brussels Sprouts Recipes for the Holidays

Brussels sprouts, like just about any vegetable, benefit from being caramelized in bacon fat for a side dish that draws on the rich flavors of autumn and winter.
By: Kelsey Vala


My first experience with Brussels sprouts was not very pleasant: I used to associate them with small, soggy gray cabbages that looked like lumps of coal on our Christmas spread. Not to mention they smelled horrible. After a while, my mother wouldn’t let a sprout so much as cross the threshold of our doorstep. So one year when my sister wanted to try her hand at making Brussels sprouts for Christmas, it was met with adversity. But I quickly learned that this controversial vegetable doesn’t have to be boiled into oblivion; it can be roasted, sautéed or shredded for differing tastes and textures.

Lately, I've often seen Brussels sprouts paired with bacon, and this dynamic duo is on its way to becoming a new classic  -- like spaghetti and meatballs or peanut butter and jelly. Brussels sprouts, like just about any vegetable, benefit from being caramelized in bacon fat for a side dish that draws on the rich flavors of autumn and winter. And the resulting opulent aroma is always nutty and sweet. There's no question that something salty and porky will be paired with these little cabbages at my next holiday meal.

Roast these sprouts until tender and charred and toss with grainy mustard, textured walnuts and slab bacon.

Blanching the Brussels sprouts until “al dente” helps to retain a bright green color while softening their natural bitterness.

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Brussels sprouts become bedfellows with kale and celery root in this hearty gratin made with thick chunks of ham and a mustard-breadcrumb topping.

Get the Recipe: Brussels Sprouts Salad

If you simply don’t like sprouts for their bulky texture, try delicately sautéing the leaves in duck fat and serving with bacon and Parmesan for a warm salad.

Brussels sprouts get hit with bright citrus and salty pancetta and Parmesan.

More Brussels sprouts recipes from family and friends:

And Love It Too: Lemon-Infused Brussels

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