Bacon jam for the holidays
Since I discovered bacon jam, making it is a yearly holiday ritual. It is a sweet, salty, and savory spread for crackers, chips, or bread?
Bacon is one of God’s great foods. I leave bacon and Bourbon for Santa instead of cookies and hot cocoa. Guess who gets all the great gifts? Not those silly kiddies with their measly cookies.
It is a good bet that even some vegetarians and vegans have a top secret stash of bacon. The real kind from pigs, not that fake meat stuff.
Bacon makes many things taste better.
Bacon jam is a condiment you can use for just about anything. Spread on toast, canapes, or use as or in a dip. You can use this version as stuffing in a pork loin roast.
You can use this version as stuffing in a pork loin roast.
People think I am joking when I talk about bacon jam. I put the disbelievers to rest when I make a batch and hand out small jars of it.
Bacon jam is easy to make and well worth the effort.
This version uses dried figs and dates.
2 pounds good quality thick sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, sliced- sweet onions like Vidalia or Osos can be used.
1 medium sized shallot (Optional)
2 large garlic cloves smashed
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, honey, dark brown cane syrup, or molasses
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 pound dried figs- hydrate by covering with 2 cups boiling water and simmer until soft. Reserve the liquid.
1/2 pound pitted dates
2 oz. Bourbon (Optional)
Cayenne and/or chipolte pepper to taste (Optional)
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels or a sieve over a bowl to drain.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of fat from skillet, add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and start to turn color, about 6-8 minutes.
Put bacon, onions, and all other ingredients, including the reserved liquid from the figs, in a pot. Bring to a boil.
Cook on low heat until the mixture becomes a syrup, about 30-45 minutes.* If the mixture is not forming a syrup you can add more brown sugar. If it forms to thick of a syrup add a small amount of water.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. The syrup and mixture will thicken as it cools.
Place mixture into a food processor. Pulse three or four times, depending on how powerful your processor is. It should be somewhat chunky. (You may need to process in batches)
Place into a container and refrigerate.
Will keep up to 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
For gifts: Use small jars and the Ball™ preserving method.
*If you do not have time to stand over the stove, you can put everything into a slow cooker. Set on high for 3-4 hrs until syrupy.