Bacon is all the rage these days and why not? There isn’t a more versatile pork product, probably. (Stand down, you scrapple lovers. Bacon beats scrapple for versatility, any day of the week!) Anyhow, when my mother in law sent me a recipe for Bacon Jam, I just had to try it out. You should, too – this is the best thing in a Mason jar since moonshine!
The recipe took a long route to get here, but here’s the provenance:
Nigella Lawson – an internationally known, wonderful chef, had nothing to do with bacon jam, except…
Lorraine Elliott – a great food blogger from Sydney, who uses the the nom de plum “Not Quite Nigella” for her blog – did create the original recipe, which was read by…
My mother in law – who sent it to me!
Lorraine’s recipe is for a one cup serving. Check it out here if that is all you need. I went big and created the recipe below, which yields 4 half pint jars.
Bacon Jam – hold on to your spoons – here we go:
3 pounds of smoked bacon, cut into 1-2 inch lengths
2 medium, brown skinned onions, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
9 Tablespoons light brown sugar
4 heavy dashes of Red Rooster sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
2 cups of coffee (I used Starbucks Christmas Blend, decaf, but it’s your choice)
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
8 oz Maple syrup
How to make it:
Cook the bacon until almost (but not) crispy. Set aside on paper towels to drain the grease.
In some of the bacon drippings, saute the chopped onion for about 5 minutes, until they start to become translucent.
In a large pot (I used a 5 qt stock pot), place the cooked bacon, the sauteed onions, and the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix them up.
Cover the pot and simmer the mixture over medium heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. This should reduce down quite a bit, but not all the way.
When there is just enough liquid left to keep the mix from sticking to the pot and burning, turn off the heat. Carefully – remember, this is hot! – spoon the mix into a blender or food processor.
Give the machine two or three short bursts. You don’t want to grind this stuff up into a paste, but then again, some people do. I’m not one of them.
Ta da! You are done. Transfer to a container suitable for storage in your refrigerator. Don’t worry about how long the bacon jam will keep – it won’t last long.
Try it on hamburgers or steaks just off the grill. Bacon jam is pure awesome-on-a-stick, without needing a stick!
Another option, if you are trying to suck up at work or school, is to “can” the jam, using half pint Mason jars. Just follow the general directions on your pressure cooker. I went for 20 minutes at 15 psi.
I should probably go ahead and measure for curtains in my new VP office…okay, maybe not, but the boss will certainly like the jar of Bacon Jam she received today. Everyone that eats bacon does. And who doesn’t eat bacon? (Shhh. I know, some of you don’t. But you get the point!)
Bacon Jam – better than (fill in the blank).
No matter what you put in the blank – Bacon Jam is better! Except maybe for Chuck Norris. But that is a whole ‘nother story.