Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Salt Pork
Isn't is amazing how one dish can turn a childhood fear into one of your favorite vegetables? That's exactly what happened to me with this mouth-watering recipe. I went from dreading that brussel sprout on my plate to darting for the produce aisle in the supermarket to get the best batch.
- 1 cup 1/4" cubes salt pork or pancetta (about 8 ounces)
- 2 large shallots, peeled, quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, trimmed, halved
- 1-2 tablespoons juice from jarred dill pickles
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
- Blanch salt pork in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer salt pork to a paper towel- lined plate to drain. Set aside. DO AHEAD: Salt pork can be blanched 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
- Cook salt pork in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until about 3/4 cup fat is rendered, 10-12 minutes. Carefully strain drippings into a small bowl; return 2 tablespoons drippings and pork to pan.
- Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until salt pork is browned and crisp, 5-6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tablespoons drippings to skillet; add shallots, cut sides down. Cook, turning once or twice, until tender and browned, 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer shallots to a serving platter.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons more salt pork drippings to skillet. Working in 2 batches and adding 2 more tablespoons drippings between batches, cook brussels sprouts, turning occasionally, until tender and browned. Transfer brussels sprouts to platter with shallots.
- DO AHEAD: Shallots and brussels sprouts can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm shallots and brussels sprouts together in same skillet over medium heat before continuing.
- Drizzle shallots and brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon pickle juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon more pickle juice, if desired. Add the salt pork and walnuts (if desired) over the brussels sprouts and serve.