Bacon-Butter Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts fried in butter and bacon fat, then drowned in parmesan cheese

Equipment

Ingredients

The following proportions are approximate, based on estimating that the Brussels sprout halves will cover the frying pan surface. Adjust as described in the preparation section.

~4 servings (400 grams of final product)

Quantity Item Preparation
450 grams Brussels sprouts halved
2 tbsp bacon fat melted
2 tbsp butter melted
60 grams parmesan cheese grated
to taste salt  
to taste pepper  

Preparation

  1. the pan
    • If the butter and bacon fat is not already melted, add both to a frying pan and heat the pan only enough for both to melt completely. (You can turn off the heat while melting finishes.)
    • Make sure that the bottom of the frying pan is coated generously. It should swirl around in the pan, maybe a few millimeters deep. Add more bacon fat and butter, ideally in equal quantities, if you can't swirl it around.
    • Make sure that the bacon fat and butter are homogenized in the pan. Testing the swirlability should have achieved this.
    • Salt and pepper the bacon fat and butter evenly in the pan. At this point, avoid any more swirling or agitation; you want to make sure the salt and pepper remains evenly distributed in the pan.
    • Continue on to step 2 as you allow the pan to cool to the point that the oil won't splatter when adding the Brussels sprouts.
  2. If your parmesan cheese isn't already grated, grate it!
  3. Wash the Brussels sprouts, cut them into halves, placing them into the bowl as you go along.
  4. Individually arrange each sprout half, face down, on the pan, covering the entire surface. You may note that the sprouts are soaking up the oil. This step should be done in a relaxed way: The pan is warm, not hot, and the sprouts won't start to cook yet. Nothing should be splattering.
    Brussels sprouts on pan
  5. Once the pan is full, put it on medium-high heat. The goal here is to try to get the pan to heat evenly.
  6. As the sprouts begin to crisp, check each sprout individually by picking it up with the tongs. When your desired level of crispiness for a particular sprout is reached, flip it on the pan. Dealing with each sprout individually helps to ensure more consistent crispiness and application of the salt and pepper.
    Flipped Brussels sprouts
  7. Depending on how evenly your stovetop-pan combination cooks, some sprouts might be completely done in advance of others. As each sprout reaches your desired crispiness on its second side, use the tongs to place it in the serving dish/bowl.
  8. Every so often, when your serving dish has a "layer" of sprouts on it, sprinkle the grated cheese, continuing to cover the cheese with more sprouts you take off the pan. You want the heat to melt the cheese in the layers. As for quantities, just make sure to have plenty of parmesan on hand, since you'll be eyeballing it and adding cheese according to your preferences. (Spoiler alert: the more cheese, the better.) If you only add the parmesan cheese at the end, it won't be very even, and you won't have that melty, cheesy-goodness-in-every-bite experience.
  9. Eventually, you'll run out of sprouts on the pan. Then you're done!
    Cooked Brussels sprouts in a bowl