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Bacon Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Bacon Brussels Sprouts Gratin: A Savory Delight for Every Occasion

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Join us in the kitchen as we explore the comforting flavors of Bacon Brussels Sprouts Gratin. This dish combines the earthy goodness of Brussels sprouts with the rich, smoky flavor of bacon, all enveloped in a creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with crispy breadcrumbs. Whether served as a side dish or a satisfying main course, this gratin is sure to become a favorite at your table. Let’s dive into the details and discover how to create this delicious masterpiece.

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Ingredients:

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For the Gratin:

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  • 8 oz Bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup White Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  • A Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • Kosher Salt, to taste

Instructions:

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  1. Preparation and Cooking:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a baking dish with butter.
  2. Cooking the Bacon:
    • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until it becomes crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess grease. Set aside.
  3. Preparing the Brussels Sprouts:
    • Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise. For larger sprouts, consider quartering them to ensure even cooking.
  4. Sautéing Brussels Sprouts:
    • In the same skillet used for bacon, with the bacon fat still in it, add the Brussels sprouts cut side down. Cook them over medium-high heat until they turn golden brown and slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  5. Creating the Creamy Sauce:
    • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter pieces to the skillet and stir until melted. Pour in the heavy cream, season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir the mixture well and let it simmer gently for 2-3 minutes to meld the flavors.
  6. Assembling the Gratin:
    • Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in half of the grated white cheddar cheese and half of the cooked bacon into the cream sauce until well combined.
    • Transfer the Brussels sprouts and creamy mixture into the greased baking dish, spreading them out evenly.
  7. Topping with Breadcrumbs and Cheese:
    • In a small bowl, combine the remaining grated white cheddar cheese with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the Brussels sprouts and cream sauce in the baking dish, creating a deliciously crispy topping.
  8. Baking the Gratin:
    • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown and bubbly.
  9. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once baked, remove the Bacon Brussels Sprouts Gratin from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with the remaining crispy bacon for an extra burst of flavor.
    • Serve hot as a delectable side dish alongside roasted meats, poultry, or enjoy it as a main course paired with a fresh salad.

Cook’s Tips:

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  • Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese such as Gruyère or Parmesan for a unique twist in flavor.
  • Make It Ahead: Prepare the gratin ahead of time up until the baking step. Cover and refrigerate it, then bake it just before serving to maintain its crispy texture.

History and Background:

The concept of gratins, where a dish is topped with a golden crust, traces its roots back to French cuisine. Originally, gratins were created to utilize leftovers and transform them into a delightful, flavorful dish. Over time, variations of gratins have evolved worldwide, each incorporating local ingredients and flavors to create unique culinary experiences.

Indulge in the savory goodness of our Bacon Brussels Sprouts Gratin, where the combination of crispy bacon, tender Brussels sprouts, creamy cheese sauce, and crunchy breadcrumbs creates a symphony of flavors and textures. Whether shared with loved ones at a family dinner or served at a festive gathering, this gratin promises to delight and satisfy every palate.

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Explore the versatility and deliciousness of Bacon Brussels Sprouts Gratin in your kitchen. With its comforting flavors and straightforward preparation, it’s a dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Enjoy creating and sharing this culinary delight with friends and family!