TIP: Be sure to turn the kitchen fan on high when simmering the balsamic to catch the sharp vinegar fumes.
1 pound thick-cut bacon
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stem
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Balsamic Reduction to taste (recipe follows; see Cook’s Note)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Arrange the bacon slices on 1 or 2 separate baking sheets. Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes. Line another baking sheet with paper towels and transfer the bacon to the paper towels to drain. Chop crosswise and set aside.
Meanwhile, toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet cut sides down. Roast until browned and the edges are crisp, about 30 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
In a large sauté pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pecans, brown sugar, and garlic salt and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a large serving bowl. Drizzle balsamic reduction over the top and sprinkle with the pecans and bacon.
In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to 4 tablespoons, about 30 minutes. Pay attention as the reduction gets closer to the targeted amount, as it can go quickly toward the end and will burn if it gets too low. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature if using on the same day it’s made, or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using to make it easier to drizzle.