“These ain’t yo mama’s sprouts, y’all! Guanciale is cured pork jowl, similar to pancetta. It renders down when you cook it, leaving lots of salty, delicious pork fat to fry up the sprouts. Look for the smaller baby sprouts, which are more tender than their larger counterparts.”
Charred Brussels Sprouts
- 300 g (10½ oz) Brussels sprouts
- 100 g (3½ oz) guanciale
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2–3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Squeeze of lemon (optional)
- Cut the tough stems off the Brussels sprouts if they are large, then split each in half lengthways.
- Chop the guanciale into small pieces. Place in a frying pan over medium heat and cook until the fat has rendered and the meat pieces are crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat to a bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
- Place the Brussels sprouts in the pan, cut side down. Leave to cook for 3–4 minutes, until the cut side is browned, then flip them over and cook the other side for a further 3–4 minutes. Season the sprouts with the salt and pepper.
- Return the guanciale pieces to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and a little lemon juice, if desired, and cook for a few more minutes, or until the sprouts are just tender. Serve immediately.