When I first heard the concept of bacon jam, I thought it might be an odd fusion of flavour and texture, but I was excited to try it nonetheless. I was not prepared for how delicious it would be and how often I would need to make it. This bacon jam is hearty with bits of bacon but spreadable like jam. It tastes deliciously smoky with an amazing undercurrent of sweetness. Even your home will smell like sweet bacon. Although it takes 2 hours to make, it is incredibly easy to make. This would make the perfect hostess gift, holiday present, care package addition, or pot luck item.
Over the holidays, I served this to my family and Ed for breakfast with toasted english muffins, fried eggs, and tomato wedges. My dad, like I, was surprised at how much he liked it. Ed and my sister were fighting for the last of it and I received requests to make more very soon.
I eat this on baguette slices (ie. crostini) or right out of the jar with a spoon. Some more creative uses for bacon jam include: putting it on burgers, sandwiches, or grilled cheese; serving it on toast with a fried egg; using it as a base for vinaigrette or adding it to salads; adding it to baked brie or camembert; or using it in a brussel sprouts dish (ideas came from this website). Please post your ideas in a comment here!
Note that many bacon jam recipes have a bit of heat to them. I prefer to leave this out, but you could add hot peppers or any hot sauce that you like. Add this to the pot at the same time as the rest of the ingredients.
Bacon Jam Recipe
adapted from Not Quite Nigella
Note: You don’t have to use thick cut bacon, but I like it because it gives the bacon jam a more substantial meaty texture. Use regular cut bacon if you prefer a smoother, jammier consistency. I like using President’s Choice Old Fashioned Style Bacon for this recipe, because it’s naturally smoked and thick cut.
500 grams / 1 pound of thick cut smoked bacon
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sized onion, diced finely
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 cup of coffee (I use 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup of boiling water)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup natural maple syrup (I use a medium amber maple syrup)
large pinch ground black pepper (or to taste)
In a large non stick saute pan, cook the bacon in batches over medium heat until just beginning to crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Cook the onion and garlic in the bacon fat until translucent. Meanwhile, cut the bacon strips into approximately 1 inch long pieces. Place the bacon pieces into a medium sized, enamel cast iron pot. Strain out the onions and garlic from the bacon fat and add them to the pot. Discard the remaining bacon fat. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and maintain a gentle simmer for 2 hours. Every 20 to 30 minutes, skim off and discard the top layer of grease and stir to prevent sticking. As the liquid evaporates, add 1/4 cup of water as necessary to prevent burning and to soften the bacon. I only add water two or three times. At the end of 2 hours, the onions should be jammy and you should not have extra liquid in the pot. Allow the bacon jam to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before transferring to a small food processor. Process until you achieve your desired consistency. I only process for about 10 seconds because I like having substantial bits of bacon in my jam.