Brussels Sprout Hash with Bacon

Growing up, I was pretty indifferent about brussels sprouts. I would eat them willingly enough, but I never went out of my way to have brussels sprouts. Then I had dinner at Zocalo in Charlottesville, and it rocked my brussels sprout world. They had this magnificent brussels sprout hash they served with crispy duck breast, and it was amazing. I asked the waiter what the secret ingredient was, and he said “bacon.” Big surprise that adding bacon to a normally hated vegetable would make it not only accepted, but loved. Well, from that meal on, I’ve made brussels sprouts all sorts of ways, and it’s quickly turned into one of my favorite veggies. Here’s the brussels sprout hash with bacon to get you started on a path to some serious deliciousness.

Ingredients

3 strips raw bacon, chopped
1 lb brussels sprouts
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t hot pepper vinegar

Slicing raw bacon is super easy with a sharp knife and firm pressure, but it can shred to pieces with a dull knife or an easy grip, so show that bacon who’s boss. Cook your chopped bacon until crispy, then remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain onto paper towels, keeping the fat in the pan.

Meanwhile, slice the bottoms of the brussels sprouts, and cut them into quarters. They release that musky, bitter taste when they’re cut, so cut away. Also make sure to buy the smallest, brightest green brussels sprouts you can find–they’ll be sweeter.

Once the bacon’s out of the pan, you can pour in your brussels sprouts. Don’t be surprised if they pop and jump a little bit at first; it’s just the water coming out. Saute until tender, adding red pepper flakes, hot pepper vinegar, and bacon in at the end. Season to taste, and enjoy.

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