For the bacon, I like to use a thick cut, organic nitrate free, Sunday-style bacon—Applegate makes a great one but there are many kinds out there. The large, think slices hold the sweet baste well and don’t shrink too much in the oven. A nice, slow roast brings out some lovely caramel-red coloring and a great crunchy texture to boot.
Keeping this dish easy, I simply tossed some whole thyme sprigs on the roasting sheet along with some smashed garlic cloves further cutting down on prep time. The key to roasting sprouts well is using a higher heat that allows for some nice coloration on your sprouts, makes them a tad crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked in the center. Not over cooking sprouts is critical. No one wants to eat a mushy sprout. Your cook time will vary based on the size of your sprouts. The ones I used for this recipe were in the smaller side, a bit more delicate, which is how I prefer them. For larger ones, you may need to add to the cooking time, but always stay watchful. The best way to not overcook something is to taste a bit as you go. Pull a sprout from the oven and gauge it’s doneness. Remember, you can always add cooking time. Sprouts also continue to cook a bit once out of the oven so sometimes, a bit less cooking time is best.
- 6-8 slices of uncured thick cut, Sunday bacon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- vegetable oil, as needed for pan
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum oil. Lightly brush the foil with a little vegetable oil and set aside.
- Step 2 Lay the bacon strips out flat on the prepared pan close together, but not overlapping.
- Step 3 Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bacon with the maple syrup. Turn the bacon over and repeat on the other side.
- Step 4 Sprinkle the bacon with the brown sugar and use the pastry brush to help coat the bacon evenly. Turn the bacon over and repeat with the remaining brown sugar.
- Step 5 Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of the bacon) or until nicely browned and crisp. check on the bacon mid-way and using tongs, flip the bacon for even browning.
- Step 6 Allow the bacon to cool and harden a bit before shopping and garnishing the roasted Brussels sprouts.