Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


10 strips center-cut bacon
2 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
2 Tbsp. butter
2 shallots, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the strips of bacon onto a sheet pan fitted with a rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400° and cook for about 12 to 20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove the bacon from the rack, reserving the pan drippings, and drain on paper towels, then roughly chop or crumble.
Meanwhile, steam the Brussels sprouts, working in small batches, for three minutes per batch. I use a special steamer set that's designed for the microwave - if you do this, be sure to change the water between batches and add fresh cold water to the steamer bowl before adding each new batch of sprouts. Place the already steamed Brussels sprouts in a large bowl until you're ready to add them to the pan.
In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they are transparent. Increase the heat to medium-high; add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon into pan. Serve immediately. Yield: 6-8 servings (or 2-4, whatever!  :-D)