Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Jam

by Cindi SutterFounder of The Spirited Table® - Recipe from

For the bacon jam:
1 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) dried apricots (4 ounces), roughly chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 sprig thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Brussels sprouts:
Kosher salt
6 medium Brussels sprouts (12 ounces), trimmed and halved
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
4 sprigs thyme

Special equipment:
32 small skewers or toothpicks

Make the bacon jam:

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add sugar, apricots, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring. Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf and simmer until liquid is syrupy, 8–10 minutes. Remove herb sprigs and let bacon mixture cool. Transfer to food processor and pulse to a chunky purée. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Brussels sprouts:

  1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and prep a bowl of ice water. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green, 1 minute. Drain and transfer to ice water to cool. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add Brussels sprouts, garlic, and thyme and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Discard garlic and thyme.
  3. Arrange Brussels sprouts cut-side up on a serving tray and spoon about 1 tsp. bacon jam onto each. Spear each Brussels sprout half with a toothpick and serve.    

Do ahead

  1. Bacon jam can be made up to 5 days ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container and return to room temperature before serving.