Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I made bacon jam and you should, too

I meant to blog at you yesterday, but I got busy at work and somehow that seemed a little more pressing. It got in the way of this important public service announcement: You need to make bacon jam.

I'll start by linking to the bacon jam recipe. I'll include it below.

When I first made it, and I'm thinking this was the third time I made it, I thought it was a little much going on all at once. But this time everything went pretty well and I'll tell you why: I discovered bacon ends.

Also, it helped that I had 1.5 pounds of bacon ends thawing in the refrigerator.

Making this recipe with slices of bacon is painful and tedious and greasy. I had bacon ends left over from the my first attempt, which turned out to be divine, but I also used the aforementioned slices of bacon. A mistake. Somehow I had some pieces of bacon ends left over, which surprised me, but maybe I thought somehow the slices were paramount to the recipe.

They are not. 

The second time I made the recipe, I bought a five-pound box of bacon ends and then painstakingly and tediously stood there with my kitchen shears cutting off the fat from most, but not all of it. It was worth the sore feet I got because I didn't have grease floating in the air while the bacon cooked and I had spare parts for the freezer.

I put all the thawed bacon ends into a soup pot and stirred it now and then.

I dumped the finished bacon into my big Crockpot. You can see there is still some fat in there. Maybe too much. The recipe calls for rendering the fat. For more on that, read this.

While that was cooking, I got busy chopping up two onions and some garlic. I've learned to use a few cloves more garlic than the recipe calls for.

I had almost no fat in the pan, so I had to throw in a little olive oil/butter combination. The onions got to know the oils and turned into this: 

pretty, isn't it?

I threw in the rest of the ingredients and if you're a squeamish cook, you might think this must be awful. The more adventuresome will look at the list and think something along the lines of "Wagons, Ho!" and what not. 

Real maple syrup, cider vinegar, brown sugar and coffee get boiled a little and then everything is put in the Crockpot. 

Turn the Crockpot on high and let it live there uncovered so the liquid boils off. It takes hours for this to happen. Toward the end, I use my stick blender to chop everything into bits and then I taste test it. This batch needed to be sweeter and didn't have complexity, so I used some instant coffee and brown sugar. I just threw it in there and let it sit a bit longer on the heat. It turned out fine. 

Someone might think to put this in a blender, but have you ever tried to blend bacon? I have a regular blender and I'm sure it isn't up to the job. The recipe says you can use a food processor, but My stick blender is perfectly capable and keeps me from transferring hot liquids and putting a lid on hot liquids and so on. 

I'm not that talented.

What do you do with this? One of my favorite things to do with bacon jam is serve it on toasted dense bread. You can stir it into avocado, corn, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, etc. You can dress up a grilled cheese sandwich or a cheeseburger. You can spread it into a stromboli or top a pizza. You can do anything with it you want! Vanilla ice cream...O! I haven't done that before. That could be amazing. 


  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into smallish dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real deal, please)


1. In a large skillet over mediumish heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towel-lined plates to drain.
2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from the skillet and reserve for another use. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to combine.
3. If making this on a stove top, reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 
If making this in a slow-cooker, transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow-cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
4. Let the bacon concoction cool slightly before transferring it to a food processor and pulsing until coarsely chopped. Spoon the bacon lusciousness into individual jars or other resealable containers and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. Transfer to a pan and rewarm gently over low heat prior to indulging.


Montanagirl said...

Wow - lots of recipes being shared today. Thank you!

Rose said...

I had never heard of sounds interesting. anything with onions sounds interesting...even if it sole of shoe!

Rambling Woods said...

Really.... A lot of work. It sounds really good,....

Caron said...

It was a lot less work with the bacon ready to go. But now I'm down to zero bacon and so yes...a lot of work again. :)
Rose, you're so right. I love onion.