Do you ever come across a dish that you didn’t realize you needed? Ding ding. Stop here, read along, and make these Skillet-roasted Brussels sprouts with pork belly. Ooey gooey pepper jack cheese and spicy habanero sauce bring it home.
One Pan Roasting Plan
Habanero and Holidays aren’t two words that typically go together, but they do here. Admittingly I would devour this skillet on any dang day, but here we’re talking about a fun side-dish for the holidays.
Originally I was asked to create a dish, any dish, that would spice up the holiday dinner table using the delicious El Yucateco® Habanero Sauce. Little does the world know, I absolutely love this sauce. Habanero sauce in general is obviously spicy, but few hot sauces capture the sweetness of the chiles as well. I’ve tried fermenting my own too – ultimately El Yucateco® just nailed it. They don’t use any vinegar, so you taste the fruity flavors of the chiles. It’s incredibly spicy, but it’s nice to have a hot sauce that isn’t pure flames.
Brussels sprouts and pork belly? Yes, it works so well. I’m sure you’ve had or consumed, bacon with Brussels sprouts. Take out that extra salt and swap it for larger, juicier bites of pork belly. Add in a dash of spices with a mist of wood-fired smoke, and you’re off to a new journey for your mouth. The pepper jack cheese seems unnecessary, but it’s not. Melty, yet crispy on the edges, this white blanket holds the food together while also tying in the bitter sprouts to the crispy pork. Top it with as much habanero hot sauce as you want.
Sweet, spicy, crispy, bitter, acidic. This incredibly simple skillet hits your mouth with all of it. The best part is that it takes one skillet and very few ingredients.
Quick Prep to Big Flavors
There are 3 main ingredients to this dish: Pork Belly, Brussels Sprouts, and Pepper jack cheese. Obviously the El Yucateco® hot sauce, but that’s a topping. We can’t forget it though.
Let’s break down the ingredients and the seasonings:
- 1 lb pork belly, cubed to 1″
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
- Cumin powder
- Garlic powder
- Dry mustard
- Kosher salt
- Pepper jack cheese
- El Yucateco® Red Habanero Sauce
Pepper jack and the hot sauce are both loaded with flavor, so we’re simply seasoning the pork with a few spices just to enhance the natural sweetness. Beer is added halfway through, tenderizing the Brussels sprouts and pork belly just enough so they aren’t too firm.
Make sure you cube up the pork belly and halve the sprouts before you get started. All we need to do now is preheat a cast-iron skillet in your grill or smoker.
Yes, you can make this recipe in your oven. There are no differences with time and temperature, only flavor.
Searing and Roasting
Set your smoker or grill to a higher heat, between 400-425°F for roasting. These temperatures generally don’t produce a lot of smoke so if you’d like to add in some wood chunks or chips, now is the time.
Preheat the skillet for about 5 minutes inside the grill. We want the pork belly to sizzle when you add it in. Sear the pork belly for about 5 minutes, stir, and then add in the Brussels sprouts. Allow the Brussels sprouts and pork belly to roast for about 15-20 minutes.
Check on the skillet and stir everything, giving each side a chance to crisp up. This is where you’ll add in just a little bit of beer. Reducing and evaporating the beer will tenderize the Brussels sprouts and pork belly, while also adding a nice rich flavor. You’ll let this continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so, use your judgment and check for tenderness.
Crank up Heat with Cheese and Sauce
The food will be pretty tender after about 30-35 minutes. Toss on handfuls of cheese. It will melt into the food, so be generous. Pepper jack is a version of Monterrey jack, so it will melt extremely well and add a nice kick to the dish. Let the cheese melt for a couple of minutes before you pull out the skillet.
Serve right away with copious amounts of El Yucateco® Red Habanero Sauce. This is the way. The fruity flavors of the chiles enhance the sweetness of the pork. The gooey and crispy cheese adds texture to the tender sprouts. I’m having a hard time containing myself while describing this dish, I need it again, today.
How do you like this recipe?
Comment below, let me know what you think! Tell me if you tried a different cheese or spice combination. I always enjoy reading your feedback.