Monday, August 1, 2011

Bacon Jam

You wanna know what's awesomesauce? Bacon Jam, that's what. Literally. I've been meaning to post about this incredible recipe and then Young House Love posted a Pinterest challenge for Tuesday. Of course, they do this the weekend I'm going to be out of town, so I can't even submit a cool crafty project. However, I believe Bacon Jam will more than suffice. It is possibly the most awesome thing I've ever cooked. Ever. So here is my project for the Pinterest challenge.

From Young House Love

I found the recipe on Pinterest a week or so ago. If you know me, you know my love of bacon. I've made candied bacon. I've made chocolate chip cookies with bacon (will post that soon). I've made pancake muffins with bacon in them that you dip in maple syrup. My love knows no bounds. I started thinking about possible food gifts that I could give this year for Christmas gifts and came across this recipe. I gave it a whirl and brought it into work for my guinea pigs to test. It has been an outstanding success. I created an office of addicts. Seriously. I've made three batches of it, with the batch last night being a double.

Here is the recipe I linked to above, with my notes:

Bacon Jam (this is the recipe for one batch...I usually just go ahead and make a double batch, which means just doubling everything below)

1 1/2 pounds bacon, sliced--two packs of bacon
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)--since I'm going to pulverize it later in the food processor, I save myself some time and just buy the frozen, pre-chopped onion in the grocery store.
3 medium cloves roasted garlic--here again, I try to save myself time, and I buy the Dorot brand frozen cubes of garlic at Trader Joe's. 
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 tablespoons brewed coffee or postum
6 tablespoons bourbon

Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven. Turn oven on to 400°F and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, until bacon is golden brown. I just fry my bacon in a pan on the stove top. My oven is finicky and I'm more likely to burn the bacon in the oven than on the stovetop.

Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve one tablespoon of fat, pouring into a skillet, and adding onions, sugar and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and translucent, about five minutes. Add vinegar, maple syrup, coffee or postum, and bourbon. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.

Transfer mixture and cooked bacon to a six-quart slow-cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid has reduced and thickened slightly and bacon is a deep burnished brown, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. I usually stir it a few times while it's cooking. With the lid off, the bacon on top of the pile gets dry quickly so I stir it occasionally to keep the liquid distributed.

Transfer mixture to food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then transfer to airtight jars. Store in refrigerator for up to one month. I've read, and experienced, that it keeps just fine in the fridge longer than that. I'd say at least three months, maybe longer.

It's certainly not the most inexpensive thing I've ever made. Bacon, especially 4 packs (for the double batch) isn't exactly cheap (hello $20 in bacon!!) but it's insanely good. It's smoky and sweet. Salty and a little tangy. It's perfection. And there are a thousand things to do with it, if you find you're not content with just eating it straight out of the jar. I think I found a winner!!

I made some cute little labels to play around with packaging. I still need to work on the lid cover. I like the parchment but it was kind of a pain to work with.


Anonymous said...

I was the lucky recipient of some of Amy's bacon jam for my recent Bethany Beach vacation. Let me just say, that there is no end to the ways you can partake in bacon jam while watching the sunset over the Indian River Bay. You can have it in your tomatoe and cucumber salad for dinner, in your omelet for breakfast, over linguini (hot or cold) or just straight up on crackers. Everyone loved the mix of sweet and savory, including Tilly, the chocolate lab who visited us, who got the last little bit when we turned our heads for a just a minute. Thanks Amy for making our vacation just a little bit sweeter with your awesome bacon jam! The Hookes

Amy @ this DIY life said...

Think I might have to try this!

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