The Koala and I spent Christmas in Christchurch. Our first meal off the plane was at Terra Viva Cafe with The Koala’s parents. When I saw Hot smoked salmon and bacon jam salad on their menu, I didn’t look any further. I didn’t have to. Nothing could beat that combo for me. The salad was both tasty and light, the perfect meal for a “just got off the plane and I’m going to have an epic dinner later”. You can read my review and photos over here.
Since then, I’ve been dreaming about bacon jam. “But Genie, what the hell is bacon jam?” I hear you cry. Well, bacon jam is bacon (of course) cooked down with onion, garlic and sweet gummy goodness until it is caramelised and crazy good. I had to make it.
I had a browse at some recipes and decided on this one from Dinner With Julie. I’ve simplified an already simple recipe. Seriously, if you are a fan of bacon, you need this in your life. This recipe will make your house smell amazing so make sure you have have a plan on how to sample some of this jam this immediately after cooking. Would make a great edible gift for a bacon fanatic.
My tips and adapted recipe below. This recipe makes about 2 cups of bacon jam and can easily be doubled if required.
This is a good time to use free range bacon. I used a 50/50 mix of streaky bacon and rindless eye bacon from Freedom Farms which conveniently come in 250 gram packs (about half a pound). I wouldn’t use 100% streaky as it’s quite fatty, but if you prefer a bit leaner, going all middle, shoulder or eye bacon should be fine.
Use a jar that holds 2 cups (500ml). As you can see I was expecting a lot more jam when I selected my 1 litre jar. Sterilise the jar by boiling it or baking in oven.
We have an espresso maker so I made a double shot espresso. Feel free to brew coffee however way you see fit. You might be apprehensive about the use of coffee but it gives the jam a rich flavour without being overpowering. Trust me!
Makes about 2 cups
- 500 grams free-range bacon, chopped (about 1 lb)
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1/2 cup coffee (I used espresso)
- Fry the bacon in a hot sauté pan for 10 minutes until cooked. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Sauté onion and garlic in the same pan for 3 minutes until starting to turn golden.
- Add the bacon back to the pan along with the sugar, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, mustard and coffee. Cook uncovered on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened, glossy and jammy.
- Cool and transfer to a sterilised jar. Refrigerate if not using immediately but bring to room temp for serving (or heat up). Bacon jam will heat up a little when spread on hot toast.
So far, I’ve eaten bacon jam:
- on toast with eggs
- on garlic bread
- with cheese and bread
- smeared on steak
- on a salad
- …and from a spoon
Other ways I’d like to eat bacon jam
- In a grilled cheese sandwich
- On top of grilled oysters (almost like Oysters Kilpatrick)
- Stuffed into mushrooms
- In a burger (bacon jam cheeseburger!)
- On a pizza
- In a sandwich
- On cheese and herb scones
- On herb muffins
The critics* say:
“Oh my god. This is my new favourite jam.”
“Fuck, that’s good.”
“Aww das good jam”
* Critics are my friends who have tasted this bacon jam.
Notes for the future:
Next time I might try adding a little whiskey towards the end and a bit more onion might make this a bit gummier.
Any other creative suggestions for using bacon jam? Aside from digging at it with a spoon?
This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage bloggers to try new food related things. Francesca from Fearless Kitchen is the host for this month’s event.
If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. More information here.