Yesterday was a beautiful day. For the first time this year I was convinced that winter will end soon. It was also the first time in weeks that I didn’t have a visit scheduled for my condo. I was really looking forward to spending the day in my kitchen, cooking and baking up a storm, but the weather had me conflicted. How could I waste such a beautiful day inside? This internal debate raged for most of the morning. And then a compromise was reached. I would walk to the grocery store to pick up everything I need. The walk would satisfy my need for time outside, and then I would get to create something wonderful in my kitchen.
This really was something wonderful. I had never heard of bacon jam until I started reading this months Food and Wine. As soon as I saw it, I knew something had been missing from my life. I had to have some. They recommend a brand available in the U.S only. In general, I think jam is one of the easiest things to make at home, so I set out trying to find a recipe. I wasn’t going to let where I live keep me from my bacon jam!
I found several recipes, but the one that appealed to me the most was this one from Not Quite Nigella. I liked its simplicity; there are only a few ingredients, but each of them packs a punch. As with most jams, this one is quite easy to make, although a little time consuming (two hours, largely unattended). While you’re making it, your entire home and everything in it will smell like bacon. No need for bacon perfume. For step by step pictures, check out the original post from Not Quite Nigella.
The end result is a sweet yet savory jam, with a hint of smokiness to it. It was definitely worth the time to make it.
Once your bacon jam is done, you’re going to eat some of it with a spoon. That’s ok. Then you’re going to wonder what else to do with it. I suggest putting it in sandwiches or making this Bacon Jam Bruschetta. It’s just cream cheese (or goat cheese), bacon jam, and greens dressed with oil and lemon juice. The tanginess of cheese and the sweet smokiness of the bacon jam compliment each other perfectly.
Recipe from Not Quite Nigella
- 500 g bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- In a large, heavy bottomed pan, fry the bacon in batches. Remove the bacon from the pan, and pour off all but 1 tbps of the bacon fat (bacon fat can be reserved for other purposes, like a pie crust)
- Turn the pan heat to medium high. Add the onion to the pan and fry until translucent. Add the minced garlic, frying until fragrant.
- Return the bacon to the pan, along with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally, and add 1/4 cup of water every 25 minutes or so.
- Once cooked down, puree the jam in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency (more or less chunky).
(Note: the original recipe called for 3 tbsp brown sugar, I forgot to add it and still found the jam delicious)
Bacon Jam Bruschetta
- Bacon Jam
- Baguette, sliced
- Cream cheese or goat cheese
- Salad greens
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Spread the cream cheese on the baguette slices. Top with bacon jam.
- Dress the greens with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Place a small amount on the bread.