Bacon Jam made the rounds several years ago but good things are worth repeating. First, let’s be clear this is more of a slightly sweet but savory condiment rather than a spread for your morning biscuits. It’s a lively topping that can be added to any number of dishes, from soups to grilled cheese or as a side on a cheese board. Whatever the use, it’s sure to be a hit.
Most people I know love bacon and will eat anything with bacon in it. I’ve seen even the fussiest eaters devour this jam. The first time Emily made this for us we were hooked and we looked for any number of ways to add a spoonful. This takes a bit of time to prepare but one bite will convince you it was worth the effort. This makes a big batch and keeps up to two weeks in your fridge.
A few quick tips. Spreading the bacon out in a large pan allows it to cook more quickly and evenly. Cook the jam in a pan with a large surface area and also with some depth to it, a Dutch oven works well. Use the best bacon you can find; this is bacon jam so you want the flavor of your bacon to shine through. And the bourbon in this recipe, well the same rule applies as when you’re cooking with wine-if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to use in your dish.
Bourbon rocks, bacon jams!
Emily’s Bacon Bourbon Jam
2 pounds bacon, cut into small pieces
2 large, sweet onions, thinly sliced
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup chopped garlic
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup good bourbon
1 cup freshly brewed coffee
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup maple syrup
¾ cup chili sauce
In a large pan cook the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is brown and starts to crisp.
With a slotted spoon remove the bacon and set aside.
Skim off the bacon drippings and reserve. Add about 4 tablespoons of the drippings back into the pan along with the onions. Cook the onions over medium heat until they are translucent and softened, adding more bacon drippings if needed.
Add the brown sugar to the onions and continue cooking until the onion mixture has thickened slightly.
Stir in the garlic and cook for about five minutes. Add the pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper, stirring to combine well.
Pour the bourbon, coffee, vinegar and syrup into the onion mixture. Toss the bacon back in and stir into the jam.
Continue cooking over medium low heat until the mixture has reduced down and is thick, about 30-45 minutes. Add the chili sauce and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Serve warm or chilled.