I know, I know. The combination of these two words just blew your mind. After you’ve picked up the pieces of your cranium, please, take a deep breath and read the rest of this post.
Bacon and jam are usually separate parts of a delicious breakfast. But I have found a way to marry them together in a deliciously amazing concoction. However, I can’t take full credit for it. The internet is full of people posting recipes for bacon jam, and they vary widely. I studied many of them before coming up with my own. This is encouraging because it means that this recipe is flexible. If you don’t have *just* the right ingredient or amount of something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have your own delicious bacon jam. It will just be a slightly different version.
Now let me abate your worries. This is not a jammy-sweet, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth kind of food. It is bacon in a somewhat sweet, somewhat savory mixture that loosely resembles the consistency of jam. It is really more like bacon chutney. I recently made this for a BLT appetizer where I spread some on crostini with arugula and tomato a la Spoon Fork Bacon. It was a big hit! But then, people started using it in different, creative ways, like on top of scrambled eggs. Delish! So let your little bacon-obsessed brain get creative with this surprising little dish.
Bacon Jam – A Delectable Endeavors original
1/2 lb bacon, cut into small pieces (I use Trader Joe’s Classic, sliced dry rubbed)
1 Tablespoon bacon fat
1 Tablespoon butter
1 large shallot, minced
6 ounces of your favorite dark beer, scotch ales and stouts work best (I used Tyranena’s Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee (do not used flavored coffee)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Cook bacon in a large pan on medium heat. Render the fat completely so that bacon is nice and crispy. Remove bacon from pan using a spatula, so you can save the bacon fat in the pan. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel to drain.
Drain all but 1 Tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan. Add 1 Tablespoon of butter to Tablespoon of reserved fat in the pan. Add chopped shallot and cook until translucent (this should only take a couple of minutes). Add beer, maple syrup, vinegar, and coffee to pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add bacon bits and thyme and mix.
Let this mixture simmer lightly for approximately 30 minutes, or until it reaches desired jam-like consistency. Like I said, this recipe is flexible, so if it gets too thick, feel free to add a little coffee or beer. If if is too loose, let it simmer a little longer.
Once cooked, let cool before putting into your favorite jar. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week (if you don’t eat it all before then). Canning will keep the jam for longer.