Brussels sprouts and pancetta is a popular combination for a reason. Bacon basically always makes things better, right?
I think the key to delicious brussels sprouts is getting them nice and caramelized on the outside. I achieve this by searing them in a hot pan before transferring them to the oven to finish cooking through.
If the pancetta wasn’t enough to flavor these sprouts, I also added in a sprig of thyme while they were baking to infuse them with that bright, woodsy flavor.
For more brightness and to help cut the richness of the pork fat, I love to finish this dish with lemon zest and lemon juice. It’s so so good! Also, don’t get discouraged if you can’t find pancetta. Some thick cut bacon with also be just as delicious.
- 4oz pancetta, chopped in ½ inch cubes
- 2T extra virgin olive oil
- 1lb brussels sprouts, trimmed, loose outer leaves removed, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 sprig thyme
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add pancetta to a cold, oven-proof sauté pan. Turn the heat to medium and slowly render the fat and crisp the pancetta, stirring occasionally, for a total of about 10-15 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly, if needed, to prevent burning. Transfer the pancetta to a bowl, reserving the fat in the pan.
- Add oil to the pan and increase heat to medium-high. Add in brussels, cut side down, and season with salt and pepper. Sear about 3 minutes or until well-browned. Flip and season the alternate side. Sear for 2-3 minutes.
- Add whole thyme sprig to the pan, and transfer to the center rack of the oven. Roast about 6-10 minutes or until brussels are crisp-tender. Remove the pan from the oven, return pancetta to the pan, and toss to combine. Stir in lemon zest and serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy.