Bacon is indeed the key to this dish. Instead of just plain old bacon (which is great too!) spring for the seasoned kind. Whole Foods carries a few different ones., we bought 4 strips of ancho chili and garlic bacon. The seasoning along with the bacon fat (yum) made our sprouts super tasty.
We served the kicked up sprouts with a rib-eye and potato gratin
Spicy Bacon Brussel Sprouts, courtesy of 4 Pears
4 strips of spicy seasoned bacon
1 lb brussel sprouts
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
To begin, put the bacon in a heavy cold pan. Turn the heat to medium and cook until crisp. Once cooked move the bacon to a plate covered in paper towels to drain off excess fat and to cool. Once cool, crumble the bacon into small pieces.
To prepare the brussels sprouts, trim off the stems and the outer yellowed leaves of each sprout and cut them all in half. Put them in a colander and rinse them well.
Put the cleaned sprouts into the pan you used to cook the bacon. Add the butter and cook the sprouts for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Next, add the crumbled bacon. Taste the sprouts and season with salt and pepper if necessary then cook them for one minute longer. Remove the sprouts to a bowl to serve.