BAM! These so simple yet ingenious and tantalizing appetizers are almost naughty! The Piggery’s rich, succulent bacon is caramelized with a maple-mustard glaze, while the brussel sprouts help redeem falling off the holiday diet train. We brought these to our friends’ house for dinner the other night – they were polished off before we sat down (admittedly half of them disappeared down my and Bobby’s gullets). Oh man, these are so good!
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Heather, farmer and owner of The Piggery, taught me a great lesson about bacon! Their bacon is not cured with nitrates, which apart from being an ingredient that is unfamiliar to our pantry and our body, also means that the bacon does not reduce by about half in size like cheap, processed bacon we buy at the grocery store. So, you are actually getting exactly what you pay for when you buy fresh, hand-cut bacon from your local farmer. Plus, there is absolutely no comparison in taste. This stuff is so much better! AH! I'm getting giddy just thinking about it.
- 30 toothpicks
- 3/4 pound bacon
- 1 stalk or about 30 brussel sprouts
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 2 pinches sea salt
- a few grinds black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Soak 30 toothpicks in water.
- Adjust your bacon strips to the size of your brussel sprouts. Our sprouts were small, so we cut our bacon strips in half lengthwise (see Note on bacon below). You will want your bacon to wrap around each sprout twice. Trim the strips if it wraps around thrice.
- Clean your brussel sprouts thoroughly and pat them dry with a tea towel. Put them in a bowl and toss the sprouts with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the mustard powder, sea salt and pepper.
- Wrap each sprout with bacon, and spear your creation with a toothpick to hold it together.
- Line the maple-bacon wrapped brussel sprouts on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.
- Let them cool before serving. (You can reheat them in the oven when ready to serve).
- SAVE YOUR BACON FAT. Your pan will be filled with delicious bacon grease. Pour it into a jar and put it in the refrigerator. It will solidify into a soft, white consistency. When making eggs or stir-frying vegetables, substitute oil or butter with a spoonful of bacon fat. It's an excellent grease and makes everything tastier!
I sometimes like to place a cooling rack on my baking sheet so bacon is evenly cooked and the fat drains away.