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I know I know, your grandma made you eat brussels sprouts as a child and they were bitter, mushy, and heaven help you, you were not going to eat the rest of them off your plate no matter how long you had to sit at the table! These teeny tiny cabbages (well, brassicas really) can be prepared in ways that do not leave them mushy and bitter, however, and I’ll bet you could even get your kids to eat them with gusto if you cook them with a little bit of bacon! If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a big fan of bacon grease, and use it frequently in my cooking because it imparts incredible depth of flavor. I realize that it is a saturated fat, and quite honestly, that’s one of the reasons I prefer to use it! I won’t do the subject justice if I try to explain it, so instead I’ll direct you to one of my favorite blogs to do the explaining for me.

Now that you’ve read up on saturated fat, and can heartily agree with me that it’s been unfairly demonized over the past half-century, let’s get back to brussels sprouts. These little gems contain good amounts of one of our favorite fat soluble vitamins: vitamin A.  They also contain vitamin C and folic acid, which are water soluble (in case you didn’t know already).  So, if you don’t cook and eat brussels sprouts with fat you’ll lose out on a major benefit of eating them in the first place!  They are in season from December to June, so snap them up while their flavor is still at it’s peak.

Ingredients:
1 pound brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half lengthwise
4 thick slices bacon (find a good, preservative and sugar free bacon)
2 tablespoons bacon grease
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut your bacon into small pieces, approximately 1/2″ wide.
3. Using a large oven-safe skillet, heat the bacon grease and once hot add in the brussels sprouts and bacon pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until brussels sprouts are just turning golden brown and bacon is cooked through, about 7-8 minutes.
4. Turn off the stove, and put your entire skillet in the oven, which should be preheated by now. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, then bake 10 minutes more until brussels sprouts are tender and nicely browned.

 I served them here with meatballs and marinara, which was delicious. I promise, they will be the best brussel sprouts you’ve had in a long time!