It’s the time of year again, so I am busting out another Brussels sprouts recipe. This time, oven roasted Brussels sprouts with smoked pork belly and balsamic cream. Smoked pork belly is kind of a new addition cause I really thought I could convince anyone teetering between camp ” hate ’em, leave ’em” to come over to camp “#welovebrusselssprouts” for good. Add smoked bacon, pork belly, pancetta or prosciutto di Parma to pretty much anything and you convince a mighty few to get off the fence and come on over. Except of course my vegan/vegetarian friends. They of course will skip it all together.
This recipe for oven roasted Brussels sprouts is purely intended for flexitarians and meat lovers. And I’ll tell you, the trick to getting Brussels sprouts to taste good, is that amazing caramelizaton that occurs while they are roasting in the oven. It gives them a such a great flavor!
Perfect oven roasted Brussels sprouts are easy
First rule to perfect oven roasted Brussels sprouts is a hot oven. It is essential, so make sure you preheat your oven. While the oven gets hot, you can do the trimming. Any yellow or brown leaves should be removed and a little of the woody end. Then half them, leaving the stem in place to hold the leaves together. Or at least the majority of the leaves. But keep the loose leaves, you’ll want to roast them along with the sprouts. They taste great when they crisp up! Then toss everything with oil, season with a little salt, transfer to the baking sheet and turn the Brussels sprouts so that the cut side is flat against the baking sheet. This way, the thin outer leaves will crisp up and caramelize while roasting. Result: purely delicious!
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream
- 500 g Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 100 g diced smoked pork belly preferably organic, pastured-raised
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- generous pinch of sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic cream Crema con Aceto Balsamico di Modena or more, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
Transfer the sprouts and any loose leaves to the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until combined and arrange them cut-side down.
Scatter the diced smoked pork belly over the Brussels sprouts.
Tranfser to the preheated oven and roast until deep golden brown, and crisp outside and tender on inside, about 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic cream, and toss.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
Variations for the Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream:
- Make it vegan – ditch the smoked pork belly: roasted Brussels sprouts make for a lovely side dish that can easily satisfy Brussels sprout loving vegans and vegetarians. Add some roasted hazelnuts for a little extra crunch or simply serve them as a tasty addition to a grain salad or green salad.
- Or…swap it out: Pancetta is a good alternative, as is smoked bacon.
- Any leftovers from this oven roasted Brussels sprouts recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
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