I made bacon jam.
What is bacon jam, you ask? It is heaven. It is delicious, smoky, salty spreadable bacon in a bath of caramelized onion and garlic goodness. My roommates say the end product smells like barbecue sauce, but this is way better than barbecue sauce.
The last time I made bacon jam, I had no idea how to eat/use it. I served it with cheese and crackers at a dinner party and it was gone in minutes. I’m not joking; this stuff is like crack. That was in November, and friends have been bugging me for months to make it again. So you’ve been warned: make this jam and you (or your fam/friends) might turn into an addict.
Anyway, eating crackers with bacon jam is fine and dandy, but I don’t think that simplicity allows the jam to live up to it’s full potential. When I made the jam this time around, I used it in three different recipes–and ohmigod this shit is good. I totally blindly subscribe to the foodie bacon craze but even sometimes I can admit that bacon doesn’t make everything better. Bacon JAM, however… this really does make everything so much better. Below are the three ways I used the jam (yanno, besides eating it straight off a spoon).
Breakfast: So easy but insanely tasty. I toasted a slice of oatmeal bread, spread bacon jam on top, and topped it with a fried egg. The runny yolk and the little bits of bacon… okay … I can’t even talk about this anymore because I’m salivating all over my keyboard. Just do it. Trust me.
Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam. Self explanatory, no? Very good, very delicious, very cheesy. I used smoked gouda and fontina cheese. I would eat this for every meal if I didn’t have to squeeze into a bridesmaid dress in a few weeks! Well, also, I’m lactose-intolerant, but whatever, this is too good to give up. The tubby life is both a blessing and a curse.
Dinner: I roasted vegetables and chicken thighs and stuffed bacon jam under the skin. SALTY SWEET, people. If you haven’t figured it out… I love salty-sweet flavor combinations. The jam also does a killer job at keeping the thighs moist–not that they need much help anyway.
Okay, without further ado, the recipe! Also, I promise my next tubbytuesday post will not have bacon in it. Actually, I can’t promise that, but I will try my hardest. Maybe.
And for your food porn viewing pleasure, this is what two pounds of cooked bacon looks like. YUM. I can hear your arteries clogging from all the way over here!
Bacon Jam (adapted from thekitchn and theperfectpantry)
recipe makes ~1 pint of jam
2 lbs of bacon
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 c coffee
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp ground pepper (I eyeballed this)
1. Chop bacon into 1 inch strips. Cook the bacon over medium-high heat until bacon is browned. I did this step in two batches, draining the bacon fat in between. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
2. Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan and add onions and garlic. Turn the heat down to low-medium and cook until the onions are soft–around 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients: coffee, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard, and ground pepper. Turn the heat back up to high and let this mixture come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, let it boil for about two minutes.
4. Add the bacon and let this simmer for an hour. Feel free to add more coffee or water if it looks like it’s drying out. When the onions have become essentially mush and the liquid becomes more viscous–think more like cold syrup–then it’s done!
5. Let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a food processor or blender. Pulse and check frequently–you want it to be spreadable but you still want little bits of bacon-y goodness. Don’t blend it so much that it becomes a thick paste! Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
6. Enjoy! Eat it on everything! It is amazing.