Make it with Matt: Smoky holiday brussels sprouts

FOX21 Mornings

Most people either love them or they hate them. We’re talking brussels sprouts. I couldn’t stand them until I was probably in my late 20s when I had them at a restaurant – prepared with a delicious caramelization, some shallots, pancetta and I think some white wine. Sold!

I’m the only one that eats them out of my wife and kids. Sometimes when they aren’t around, I’ll fire up a pan and get after it. While I’ve been known to make a brussel sprout hash with a couple fried eggs on top, most of the time I opt for the classic pan seared preparation with a similar flavor profile to what I described above.

My typical style of cooking isn’t recipe based – I’m more of an open up the fridge and cupboard and see what we’ve got to cook with and go from there. I don’t really measure stuff, but I’ll give you a general idea of what I did in the studio this morning.

I think of ham during the holidays so I decided to use that instead of bacon or pancetta but anything would work for this really. Here’s what we did on the show:

  • Big drizzle of olive oil
  • 1-2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 2 shallots
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¾ cup roasted pecans
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Splash of white wine (if desired)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper

Get the olive oil going in a pan over medium high heat. Slice shallots, mince garlic and cube the ham, cook for about 6-8 minutes until you’re starting to get caramelization. Go a bit longer if you’d like! You really can’t go wrong here.

While that’s happening, prep the brussels sprouts. Or even do this ahead of time so you can watch the aromatics and ham cook down! Wash the sprouts, cut the little hard ends of and then slice them two or three times depending on the size. The idea here is that I want them to cook quicker for this dish versus just splitting them in half. It’ll help the texture too with the other things we’re going to throw in.

After 4 to 6 minutes, add the apple cider vinegar. This will help the sprouts steam really quick and the acid will perk the dish up! You could also add a splash of some white wine if you’d like.

For the finish of this dish, I add some roasted pecans (recipe below) and golden raises. The chewy sweetness of the raisins and the salty crunch of the pecans creates a wonderful texture for this side! Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve immediately.

Before I started cooking the dish, I preheated an oven to 300 degrees and tossed about 1 cup of pecan halves with some butter and salt to roast for about 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and toss them after ten minutes. Be careful to make sure they don’t start to brown!

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local Stories

More Local