Once when I returned home from a hospital stay after surgery, some kind foodie friends sent me a care package that included a jar of bacon jam. Of course, it was crazy-good, and it may have even quickened my recovery.
Years later, I’m thinking of recipes to make with bacon, and bam! duh! bacon jam! What could be better than a recipe with bacon as an ingredient? A recipe where bacon is THE ingredient.
There are many uses for bacon jam, including:
- Eating it with a spoon
- A condiment for burgers, hotdogs or brats
- Add it to egg salad sandwiches or grilled cheese
- Add it to egg McMuffin-style egg sandwiches, in place of or in addition to bacon or sausage
- Add to omelets or scrambled eggs
- Spread on toast, instead of butter
- Add to peanut butter sandwiches
- Add it to chip dip or salsa
- Make bacon jam-stuffed ravioli
- Add to cheese sauces for pasta
Of course, there are many recipes for bacon jam floating around the internet, and this one is based on one from Serious Eats.
What you’ll need
- 1 pound bacon, finely chopped
- 1 small onion (1 cup) finely chopped
- 2t minced garlic
- 1t red pepper flakes—use less if you want to lessen the heat
- 0.5 cups brewed coffee
- 0.33 cups apple cider vinegar
- 0.33 cups dark- or light-brown sugar, packed
- 3 or 4T maple syrup—try to use real maple syrup, if possible
What to do
In a 10- or 12-inch heavy frypan, cook the chopped bacon over medium-high heat, stirring the bacon around so it cooks evenly. Cook until the bacon is lightly browned—don’t cook it till crispy. When done (after 10 or so minutes), remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
In preparation for the next steps, mix in a bowl, the coffee, cider vinegar, brown sugar and maple syrup, then set it aside.
Pour off all but 1T of bacon fat from the skillet (keep the fat for other frying uses), and add the chopped onions, cooking them over medium heat, stirring often, until they soften and become translucent. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, mixing them in while frying for about 30 seconds. Quickly, before the garlic scorches, stir in the coffee, brown sugar, vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits of bacon from the skillet, stirring for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the bacon and reduce the heat to the lowest simmer possible, and cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid has cooked off, leaving behind a delicious, syrupy, bacon-y mess—1 to 1.5 hours.
Transfer the delicious bacon mess to a food processor and pulse a few quick times until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container. Keeps for 4 weeks in the fridge, like it could ever last that long.