I made this batch of Bacon Jam primarily as a burger topping. I love bacon on hamburgers but it is sometimes a nuisance having to cook a few rashers just for that purpose and the one commercially made Bacon Spread I tried was pretty awful. The well-made condiment, however, keeps well and is very versatile indeed. Many people like to spread it on crackers, crostini, or sandwiches other than burgers, and it also enhances grilled meats and sausages as well as providing a bacon background to all sorts of other preparations. I actually have a couple of ideas I am playing around with at the moment and you can expect to see some of them featured here in due course…
- 1/2lb. Bacon;
- 1 medium Onion, minced;
- 4 tbsp. Sugar;
- 1 tbsp. Garlic Puree;
- 1 pinch each Celery Seed, Nutmeg and powdered Clove;
- 1 tsp each dried Sage and Thyme;
- ½ tsp Instant Coffee Crystals;
- ½ cup Sherry;
- 2 tbsp. Rice Vinegar (or substitute Apple Cider Vinegar).
There is a lot of scope for experimentation with the flavorings for this condiment. Many people add hot sauce or maple syrup, for example and you can add or modify the above list depending on the proposed uses. Mine is fairly simple.
First, cut or chop the bacon into fairly small dice. I am using a variety of Apple-smoked Bacon with thick cut rashers. The thickness makes it easy to achieve a small dice rather than tiny squares.
Brown the bacon in a suitable pan over low temperature. The idea is to cook ‘low and slow’ so that the bacon ends up being dry and chewy rather than crispy. The process will take about 45 minutes or so and it helps if you cover the pan for the first little while to help drive out the water content.
Next, add the onions and continue to cook at the same slow, low temperature so that the onions soften, begin to break down slightly, and become a nice caramelized brown. Again, this will take a good 45 minutes or so.
Finally, add the sugar followed by the garlic and stir until the sugar is dissolved then add the remaining ingredient. Turn up the heat a little and then let the mix bubble away until the liquid is all absorbed or evaporated. The result should be thick and syrupy like a good jam. Once it is cool you can put it in a suitable container and store in the refrigerator until needed. It will easily keep two weeks but you will want to keep an eye on it after that.