The ham is optional, here. Cubed turkey, bacon, turkey bacon or even tofu would be great here. (If you do use bacon, we suggest rendering some of the fat first instead of adding raw bacon to the tops of the sprouts. This way, you can use some of the rendered bacon fat instead of the olive oil called for in the recipe below). By the way, you can see from our photos that we aren’t afraid to allow the sprouts to get pretty dark in color. We really enjoy them this way, but you can always hold back a little if you prefer.
1 pound brussels sprouts (15 to 20 sprouts)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces thick-cut ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 medium cloves garlic or 3 large cloves that have been halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim away the brown ends of the brussels sprouts and discard any yellow outer leaves. Slice brussels sprouts in half top to bottom.
Heat oil in a cast-iron pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Place brussels sprouts cut side down in one layer in the pan. If a few don’t fit, put them around the edge of the pan. Toss garlic and the cubed ham on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook until the sprouts begin to brown on the bottom. If some of the sprouts on the outer edge are not becoming brown, rotate them with sprouts in the middle of the pan (where it is hottest). Once the sprouts are mostly browned on the bottom, transfer to the oven and roast, stirring the brussels sprouts, garlic and ham every 5 minutes, until the sprouts are browned and tender; 10 to 20 minutes.
Taste a sprout and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and serve.