This is the best best Brussels sprout recipe with bacon for one simple reason: figs. Here us out: the figs bring sweetness as the bacon adds a salty note and the Brussels sprouts soften, infusing all those flavors inside. In the braised Brussels sprouts recipe, they soften from broth… and we’ve got a few ideas on that below.
Figs: Bacon’s Favorite Sidekick
Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid premium California Dried Figs are already tender and slightly chewy. Braising them infuses them as we do here with the savory broth and makes them even more harmonious in this dish—we think you’ll agree that this is the best Brussels sprouts recipe with bacon because of the figs. Mission Figs with their familiar, jammy sweetness is our pick anytime bacon is involved. Golden Figs can work too, but the Mission Figs and bacon have a certain kind of synergy to them that we even make them into a Bacon Fig Jam (that’s so good on grilled cheese).
Stuck on Homemade Stock for the Braised Brussels Sprouts Recipe
Not all broths are created equal. Homemade stock is best and something that’s far easier to make than people might think. A few things: your butcher can supply bones or even chicken feet that adds body and rich flavor to a homemade stock. Or, roast a whole chicken or turkey and use the bones from that. As you cook with onions, peppers, carrots, leeks, and even celery, you could stash a bag for these scraps of odds and ends in your freezer, giving second life to the parts of the vegetables that otherwise would go into the compost bin. We’ve got bones and aromatics for the stock, now to finish things off you need just a few more items. Dried herbs like a bay leaf or two and whole peppercorns can add pop to your stock. Cover with water and then bring to a soft bubble over heat. Lower the heat to simmer and cook down until concentrated; making stock is particularly good on days you’ll be hanging around your home. Time is the most important ingredient here. Strain and use the stock or pour into jars to use for soup, in rice, sauces, and more ways. We tend to season our stock with salt after straining out the solids.
When buying Brussels sprouts, choose those with small, tight heads, no more than 1 1/2 inches in diameter, for the best flavor.
Go Nuts for Brussels Sprouts
Pecans take this veggie side dish into high gear for the holidays; something about the toasty crunch of the nuts makes this dish work well with other autumn and winter seasonal flavors.
Thanksgiving or Christmas coming to your house this year? The key to making holiday dinner special is planning out your menu. Prepping the ingredients a day in advance can help too like cutting the shallots, garlic, fresh thyme, and figs, as well as trimming the Brussels sprouts. It doesn’t take long to prep these ingredients, but will shave time off on cooking day so you can cook and chop the bacon and then proceed with cooking the Brussels sprouts. Easy.
Other dishes that would pair well with this braised Brussels sprouts recipe include Fig Sausage Thanksgiving Dressing and the brightness of a bowl of Fig-Cranberry Sauce with Oranges and Port to spoon alongside.
Braised Brussels Sprouts Recipe with Figs, Bacon & Pecans
- 8 slices bacon chopped
- 2 large shallots chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved through stem ends
- 1 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and quartered
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted and chopped
- Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off excess grease but do not wipe skillet clean.
- Cook shallots in now empty skillet over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Toss Brussels sprouts with shallots and garlic, add broth and figs. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, tossing once or twice, until paring knife can be inserted into sprouts without resistance, 13 to 18 minutes.
- Stir in thyme, vinegar, butter, reserved bacon, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle pecans on top. Serve immediately.