I had never baked anything savory with maple syrup before I tried this succulent dish. Many times, I had cooked with honey, but since maple syrup is a little expensive (for me) I had not used it in any other way than with pacakes...
While googling around looking for a great brussels sprout recipe, I found one that particularly caught my attention as it was exactly the type of comfort food I was craving to eat that evening!
The original recipe came from "The Oprah Magazine" and was adapted from Tom Bivins, the executive chef at the "Old Tavern" in Grafton, Vermont.
It is needless to point out that this recipe has undergone many changes and that only the basic idea remains; I'm one of those people who can't help fiddling around!...
500g Brussels sprouts, halved
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
150g Bacon (lard fumé/Speck), chopped/cubed
900g All-purpose potatoes, cubed
80g Pecan nuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
60g Butter, melted
1/3 Cup Maple syrup
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. In a frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp and add the onion, garlic and brussels sprouts, and fry for about 5 minutes. Remove once onion is translucid. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) and grease a rectangular oven dish.
3. Still in the frying pan, fry the potatoes in enough oil until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
4. In a small bowl whisk together the maple syrup and the melted butter.
5. In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients together (including the pecan nuts). Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Transfer the contents of the big bowl into the oven pan.
7. Bake for about 40-60 minutes or until the potatoes and brussel sprouts are cooked and the whole is well glazed.
The Pecans are optional. You can also replace them by the nuts of your choice (as long as they are previously toasted).
If you wish, you can slice the brussels sprouts thinly instead of halving them.
Sweet potatoes can replace the all-purpose potatoes, but then use only 3 medium ones and double the quantity of brussels sprouts.
While baking (every 20 minutes), mix well the contents of the oven dish, so that the vegetables are evenly coated with the glazing.
Serve this dish with ham steak, pork chops or meat patties.
(Old Tavern -Pic by http://www.old-tavern.com/oldtavern/index.html)
(Vermont -Pic by Robert Calve www.trekearth.com)