Did you grow up disliking soggy, cabbage-smelling Brussels sprouts? I did. Then I discovered how delicious they are with a bit of charring – add some cured pork fat and they become even better! I like to use a spicy, chilli-flecked pancetta (or the black pepper-dusted one from Salumi Australia), but the mild one works just as well, or skip the pancetta and use an extra tablespoon of olive oil for a vegetarian dish.
Serves 4 as a side dish
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 golden shallot, finely diced
- 125g flat pancetta, diced
- Salt flakes, to taste
- 350g Brussels sprouts, halved lengthways
- Place oil, shallot and pancetta in a heavy-based frying pan (cast-iron is ideal), over medium heat.
- Add a good sprinkle of salt and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered.
- Push pancetta to the sides of the pan, place sprouts into the pan in a single layer, cut side down and gently push pancetta back over and around them.
- Add ¼ cup boiling water, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until water has evaporated and sprouts are tender at the stem end.
- Uncover, increase heat to high and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until cut side is well-coloured.