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Wine Pairing: Keto Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

For those living the Keto lifestyle, Thanksgiving can be a bit of a minefield. Luckily, we’ve got a crowd-pleasing food and wine pairing. Read on for all the delicious details.

Thanksgiving is about celebrating what we’re grateful for. That means good friends, loving family members, and delicious food with a crowd-pleasing wine pairing! If you’re watching your carbs on the Keto diet, however, Thanksgiving can be pretty tricky.

Luckily, we’ve come up with a keto-friendly recipe that will please a wide variety of palates. Think lightly, pan-fried brussels sprouts with the perfect amount of crispness. Add the savory sweetness of pancetta and a perfectly paired wine, and you’ve got a recipe you’ll want to repeat year-round. 

Keep reading for all the details on our Keto-Friendly Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta plus our SECCO Wine Club wine pairing.

Need to brush up on your Wine Terminology? Click here to use our glossary!

 

Intro to Wine Pairing

There’s a reason high-end restaurants usually keep an in-house sommelier. This person is a trained wine steward who understands the subtle nuances of each wine and how it should be paired. It’s important to remember, however, that you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy wine or to pair it with food. 

However, if you’re a complete newbie and want a bit of guidance, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Generally, your wine should be slightly sweeter and more acidic than your meal.
  • Try to select a wine that has the same flavor intensity as your meal.
  • If your wine is bitter, balance it out with fat (cheese, nuts, fatty meats, etc.)
  • If your meal has a flavorful sauce, match the wine to the sauce instead of the meat. 
  • White, sparkling, and rosé wines often create contrasting pairings, meaning they create balance by contrasting tastes and flavors. As an example, think about lime and coconut. The two flavors aren’t similar, but they’re delicious when combined.
  • Conversely, red wines generally create congruent pairings. This means they create balance by emphasizing shared flavors. A good example of this would be a savory steak and mushroom combination.

This is a super simplified break-down, but for the purposes of our wine pairing today it will get us through. 

If you’re interested in really honing your wine pairing skills, definitely check out our Wine Pairing 101 guide to give you all the details. Now, let’s talk about the wine we’ve selected for today!

Pancetta is keto friendly and adds a delicious savory flavor to the dish - SECCO Wine Club

Keto-Friendly Wine Pairing

Since the largest component of this dish is brussels sprouts, you might assume we would try to pair our wine with that particular vegetable. Well, we’re not going to do that today for two reasons.

First, pairing raw vegetables with wine is pretty tricky. Oftentimes, raw vegetables can leave wine tasting lackluster. Plus, certain compounds in brussels sprouts taste similar to faulty wine flavors. These cruciferous vegetables have organosulfur compounds that impart earthy, sulfur-like flavors. It’s actually one of the reasons why some people “think” they don’t like brussels sprouts.

That brings us to our second reason. Remember earlier when we said if a dish has a flavorful sauce, you should pair it with that? Well, it might not technically be a sauce, but the pancetta imparts a savory, sweet flavor that will have you cleaning your plate and asking for seconds.

Tenuta Santa Lucia, Toscano IGT ORGANIC - SECCO Wine Club

Tenuta Santa Lucia Toscano IGT ORGANIC - SECCO Wine Club

That’s why we’ve chosen to pair this dish with our Tenuta Santa Lucia, Toscano IGT ORGANIC. The blend of Sangiovese and Ciliegioll grapes creates flavors reminiscent of cherries and blueberries. Similar to Shiraz, the noticeable tannins and medium body mean it pairs beautifully with red and white meat, cheeses, and even pasta dishes. On top of that, its floral and herbaceous notes mean it pairs surprisingly well with vegetable-heavy dishes.

Basically, this bottle will help highlight all the delicious aspects of this dish while softening any undesirable notes. In all honesty, however, this dish can be enjoyed with or without wine…but what would be the fun of that?

The SECCO Wine Club Keto-Friendly Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

If you’re a die-hard brussels sprouts hater, prepare to eat a slice of humble pie. Actually, prepare to eat a serving of our keto-friendly sauteed brussels sprouts with pancetta…and then prepare to ask for another serving. 

This recipe is shockingly simple, requires just a few ingredients, and you can even prepare your brussels sprouts a day in advance to save time on Thanksgiving Day. Our recipe makes a little over nine servings, but for large gatherings, you may want to double the recipe so everyone can eat their fill.

Each serving has less than 100 calories, less than 10 grams of carbs, 3.5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of fat. That means you could have a glass of wine with a serving of this dish and still say under 200 calories and 10 carbs

Yes, please!

Ingredients

  • Two ounces of minced pancetta
  • Two pounds of Brussels sprouts (this needs to be two pounds AFTER you’ve removed the outer leaves and stems). You CAN purchase already shredded brussels sprouts, but these often aren’t as fresh and have more sulfur-like flavors.
  • One and a half tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 whole cloves of garlic (minced or thinly sliced).
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Preparation

  • Thoroughly wash your brussels sprouts and remove the outermost leaves.
  • Remove the stems to avoid adding extra bitterness to the dish (and remove pieces that are too fibrous).
  • Using a very sharp knife, shred the brussels sprouts. You can use a food processor with a slicing attachment, just make sure they’re shredded and not minced. You want to be able to eat this dish with a fork, not a spoon.
  • Using a deep saute pan, sauté the pancetta on medium-low heat.
  • After roughly five minutes, after the fat has melted and the pancetta has a golden color, add the olive oil and garlic and sauté until golden.
  • Add shredded Brussels sprouts to the saute pan with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sauté on high heat until the brussels sprouts are tender and crisp. The leaves may be slightly brown at the edges which will provide a nice, crisp texture. This should take roughly six to ten minutes.

Voila! You can serve this as a side dish for Thanksgiving or as an entire meal whenever it pleases you. Best served hot with room temperature wine.

Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude for friends and family with good food and good wine - SECCO Wine Club

Good Food and Good Wine Bring People Together

This Thanksgiving may be unlike any other, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still share a meal and a bottle of wine with the ones we love. Whether you’re doing it in person, or virtually sharing recipes, we hope this keto-friendly recipe helps warm your heart and your stomach.

Consider joining SECCO Wine Club so you can experiment with several different wine pairings for Thanksgiving. Having wine delivered right to your door is the safest, easiest way to sample a variety of wine so you can figure out what works best for you! Plus, don’t forget to tag us in your food and wine posts for a chance to be featured in one of our stories.