shaved brussels sprouts with crispy bacon, manchego cheese, roasted hazelnuts, and sweet cider syrup
2 ½ cups apple cider
½ cup brown sugar
12 oz raw bacon, diced
2 lbs brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
1 shallot, thinly sliced
freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 oz manchego cheese, crumbled
½ cup chopped, roasted hazelnuts
fresh thyme leaves, for topping
Combine the apple cider and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil the mixture for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 35-40 minutes, or until thickened and syrupy. Turn the heat off and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the bacon. Cook the bacon for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often, or until crisp.
Cut each brussels sprout in half. Place the flat side of each brussels spout onto the cutting board. Use your knife to thinly shave them by cutting each sprout very thinly. Discard the roots.
When the bacon is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Carefully pour the bacon fat out of the skillet, leaving roughly just 2 tablespoons. Add the shallots over medium heat. Sauté until tender and caramelized, 2-3 minutes. Transfer the shallots to a plate.
Raise the heat to medium-high and add a drizzle of olive oil to the skillet. Once hot, add half of the brussels sprouts. Season with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until tender and caramelized (but still bright green in color). Transfer them to a plate and repeat with the remaining brussels sprouts.
Add the first batch of brussels sprouts and shallots back to the skillet. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Cook for just another minute or so. Season with salt to taste.
Transfer the brussels sprouts to a platter. Top with the manchego cheese, hazelnuts, and a pinch of fresh thyme. Drizzle the cider syrup over top.