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Depending on who you are, "gastrique" might sound enticingly fancy or like something a snake oil peddler might prescribe to cure "a bad humor." But it's really just a simple sauce of caramelized sugar, deglazed with vinegar or another sour liquid, used to give a sweet and savory punch to any recipe. This gastrique also features bacon, so you know it's good, and it acts like a red party dress for roasted brussel sprouts - simple, tart, and oh-so-delicious.Author:
Chef Lisa Rembold
4 cups Brussels Sprouts (about 1 pound)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
6 Slices Thick Cut Bacon, diced
1/2 Cup Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Preheat oven to 400º F. With a sharp paring knife, cut off the stem and any outside leaves that are brown or discolored.
Place brussel sprouts on an unlined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are tender and deeply golden on the edges.
While the brussel sprouts are roasting, making the cranberry gastrique. Add bacon pieces to a medium saute pan and place over medium heat. Cook until lightly browned but not overly crispy, about 5 minutes
Drain off the fat and add the cranberry sauce. Begin adding the balsamic vinegar a few tablespoons at a time, tasting between additions. Depending on the type of vinegar you use, you may need more or less to reach your desired flavor profile. The sauce should be tart and not overly sweet, but not so tart that your lips pucker when you taste it.
Once you like the flavor of your gastrique, continue to cook for 3-5 minutes to reduce slightly and thicken.
When the brussel sprouts are finished roasting, place in a serving bowl and toss with the cranberry gastrique. Serve hot.
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