Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots and Bacon

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Preparation:

To Cook the Brussels Sprouts:
In 6-quart stockpot on Wolf cooktop over high heat, bring 3 quarts heavily salted water to a rapid boil.  Trim Brussels sprouts of bottoms and outer leaves.  Drop them into boiling water and cook about 9 minutes or until barely tender.  Drain and place in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.

To Cook the Bacon:
In 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat, place bacon and cook slowly until just crispy.  Remove bacon and reserve 1 tablespoon fat. Drain and dispose of remainder fat, reserving the pan. Set bacon and fat aside.

To Make the Sauce:
In 4-quart sauce pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter and reserved 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Stir in shallots and salt. Cook for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring often, until shallots begin to brown and caramelized*. Add chicken stock and thyme. Bring to a boil and continue to boil until mixture is reduced by half. Add bacon to the mixture, season with pepper and set aside.

In previously used bacon sauté pan over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and allow to brown slightly. Add blanched Brussels sprouts. Allow to brown for 1 minute. Cook another minute and add caramelized shallot mixture. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through. Reduce heat to low and mix in remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Adjust seasoning if desired and serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

* If shallots stick to the bottom of the pan, reduce heat and add 1/4 cup water to loosen the bacon bits.