The wood-fired oven at Michael's Genuine in Miami's Design District is like the secret weapon of this rightfully acclaimed restaurant. Many of the loyal diners and food-savvy first-timers gravitate toward things that don't emerge from this oven — burgers, salads, pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith's playful and extremely tasty desserts. But true Michael's aficionados know that wood-fired is the surefire way to eat well here: the pizzas and whole snapper, for instance. And then there's the Pancetta Roasted Brussels Sprouts. You may have had good Brussels sprouts dishes elsewhere, and you may have even added pork or seasoning to liven up these misunderstood veggies. But Michael Schwartz has turned Brussels sprouts into a reliable culinary work of art with this recipe. You may not have the wood-fired oven, but follow these steps (especially the lemon aïoli) and you will never want to eat Brussels sprouts any other way.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds brussels sprouts, yellow leaves trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2- inch cubes
- 3 thyme sprigs
To prepare the lemon aïoli:
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Transfer the aïoli to a tightly covered bowl or jar and refrigerate until ready to use. You can make this up to 3 days ahead.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Put the Brussels sprouts in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, pancetta, and thyme; season with ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Mix until the oil coats the sprouts.
- Put a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Dump the Brussels sprout mixture into the hot skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the pancetta renders its fat and the sprouts start to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the sprouts, periodically shaking the pan or stirring with a large spoon to keep the pancetta from sticking and burning, until tender, roughly 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover to keep warm or serve immediately.