Photograph by Michael Graydon & Nikole HerriottPrint
- 3 oz bacon, cut into 1/4 in wide matchsticks
- 2 Tbs EVOO
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved through the stem end
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pitted soft fresh dates
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, and cook the bacon with the olive oil until the bacon has rendered most of its fat but is still juicy, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, and increase the heat to high. If there is excessive fat in the pan, you can drain some, but reserve in case the pan dries out. The sprouts will suck up the fat.
- Add the Bussels sprouts to the pan, turning them over with tongs, if necessary, to make sure that the cut sides are down. Sear hard, without shaking the pan, until well charred and beginning to blacken, 5 to 7 minutes. Resist the temptation to meddle with them: the idea is to get a very deep, penetrating sear that nearly blackens the sprouts but keeps them relatively green inside. Flip the Brussels sprouts, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the dates and the reserved bacon to the pan, toss well, and cook until the sprouts begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock to the pan, a little bit at a time. With a wooden spoon, smash the dates into the sauce, breaking them into smaller pieces as the pan sauce reduces. Once the dates are incorporated into the sauce, add the vinegar.
- Continue cooking until the sauce is thick enough to coat the Brussels sprouts, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to reduce the sauce too much, or it will become cloyingly sweet and sticky. The sprouts should still be bright green and somewhat firm inside, but tender to the bite.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm.
- Not included in your box: Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Chicken Stock.