Last summer I posted lots of wonderful fruit jams; this is a jam of a whole different sort … bacon. Warning … it can be addicting and is great on bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, as a modified BLT for lunch, on top of burger, mixed into pasta or risotto, straight from the jar … it is definitely one of those things you do not want to keep around the house unless you have a whole lot more willpower that the I do.
I decided to make it again after talking about it with some friends last week, but this batch will be headed into the office sometime this week and take the remainder to a Super Bowl party as a condiment for mini bratwursts. I’m not going to even let myself be tempted by it.
I was originally inspired by a recipe I found online where the jam is made in the oven, but I forgot to bookmark the recipe and never found it again. However, I did find many other recipes and played around with a few of them. The recipe below is my amalgamation, but they are very similar, usually bacon, onions, coffee, vinegar, and a sweetener or two. I really like the maple syrup and the apple cider vinegar, I’ve used just brown sugar and a blend of other vinegars, but I think this is a better combination.
2 lbs bacon, chopped, preferably bacon coated with black pepper
2 very large onions, minced (almost 2 pounds)
1½ cups brewed coffee, strong
1 cup water, as needed
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup maple syrup
½ – 2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
A few shakes of Penzeys’ Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix
Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Drain some of the fat from the pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent. Add bacon, coffee, vinegar, syrup, sugar and honey. As it begins to simmer, shake some of the seasoning mix or use your own combination. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. Watch it and add water as needed. It is tempting to rush this process, but take your time and let it cook slowly, it is worth the time.
Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. Whirl it a few times until it is chopped but not a paste. Place in an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one month (if you can). I like to warm it up a touch or at least bring it to room temperature, before serving, I think the flavors come through better. Usually I warm up the amount I am planning to serve in the microwave for about 30 -45 seconds.