I know that the title of this recipe sounds like one of those ridiculous bacon-with-everything pairings that have been popular of late. Although I (and really, honestly, everyone else in the world) think that bacon is delicious, I don’t like the oneupsmanship with the strange bacon combinations. I tried a bacon chocolate bar and I actually gagged a bit. I don’t want bacon in my cupcake. Please remove the bacon from my Bloody Mary. AND PUT IT BACK ON THE PLATE WHERE IT BELONGS. That’s really been my attitude. I don’t go “all caps” for nothing.
That brings me to this recipe. Bacon jam. The distinction here is that this recipe brings out the bacon flavor and changes the context from crunchy meat stick to spreadable indulgence. The flavors are designed to make the bacon stand out, just to allow bacon to be transferred to multiple carb mediums (crackers, savory french toast, grilled cheese, BLTs, etc.).
This is the kind of recipe that is perfect for a weekend afternoon that you will be home all day and don’t have a ton of energy. You get to feel productive by having something to show for the day, but you don’t really have to do much. The hardest part of the recipe is the sheer torture of smelling bacon wafting through the kitchen for hours before you can indulge. If you can handle that challenge, try this recipe.
The flavors are deep and rich. The jam has tangy vinegar (balsamic and malt) and garlic. A strong hit of coffee flavor cuts the sweetness of the maple syrup. Cayenne, cumin, and paprika add a bit of heat to the brown sugar.
I had it slathered on a toasted slice of multigrain bread and topped with an egg for breakfast. Husband had it as a dip with corn chips. I served it to my more refined friends with wine a few days later and they enjoyed the jam on water crackers.
Husband brought some to work and said that it was a hit (although that is unconfirmed). He said that his co-workers who asked to take some leftovers home mentioned spreading it on burgers. We hadn’t thought of that – points for creativity.
Adapted from The Perfect Pantry
Yields ~3 cups
You will need:
- 3 pounds bacon
- 3 Vidalia onions, diced
- 9 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups strong-brewed black coffee
- 1 tsp. each black pepper and sea salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Cut bacon into approximately 1-2 inch pieces. Add the bacon and diced onions to a large skillet or pan and cook bacon on low-medium heat 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring every few minutes, for an additional 10-15 minutes, until bacon is cooked and onions are transparent.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
- Once the bacon has cooked, stir in the bowl of remaining ingredients. Leave heat on medium and bring mixture to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- After boiling, transfer the mixture to a crock pot. Cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours on high, then reduce to low and cook for 1 1/2 more hours.
- Turn off heat. Transfer to food processor and blend to desired texture.
- Refrigerate for at least four hours prior to serving to let the jam firm up.
Bacon jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.