Bacon Jam, also known as Bacon Marmalade, is a very versatile condiment. Many people love the salty, sweet richness of it spread on crackers, or crostini, while others use it with grilled meats and sausages, or as an ingredient in dressings and sauces.
My favorite use for the jam is as a topping for hamburgers. I LOVE bacon on my burgers, but it is often too much trouble to cook up just a few slices if you are only cooking for one or two people. The beauty of this Bacon Jam, however, is that it keeps for ages in the fridge (much longer than actual bacon), and you can enjoy the smoky richness of it on your burgers whenever you like.
There are many different ways to make Bacon Jam, of course. Many people, for instance like to spice it up with a little hot sauce, and many enjoy the added warmth provided by Maple Syrup. My recipe here, however, is relatively basic and will allow you lots of scope for enhancing it with such other flavorings as suit your fancy.
The Bacon for a Bacon Jam is generally cut into small dice. You can use a whole slab, but if you purchase your bacon pre-sliced, buy it in the thickest slices you can find. This will make it easy to produce cubes rather than flatter squares.
The bacon pictured here was a commercially prepared Apple-smoked Bacon, which adds another level of flavor. Any type will work, however, so buy whatever you like best.
The idea is to cook your bacon ‘low and slow’ so that the dice ends up being dry and chewy rather than crispy. The process will take usually 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.
The onions also need to be cooked slowly once added so that they become sweet with caramelization. Again, you can briefly cover the pan once the onions are added to speed up the water loss.
The final cooking step begins with adding the sugar and letting it melt before adding in whatever flavorings and seasonings you are using.
If you like, you can substitute all, or some of the sugar with honey or Maple Syrup to produce a different quality of sweetness, and a different flavor profile.
Your Recipe Card
Bacon Jam made Easy
- 1/2 lb. 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.
- Cut, or chop the bacon into small dice
- Brown the bacon slowly at a moderately low temperature for about 45 minutes or so until it becomes dry and chewy.
- Add the onion and continue to cook slowly for another 45 minutes until the onion is dark and caramelized.
- Add the sugar and the garlic and stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add the remaining seasonings.
- Turn up the heat a little and then let the mix bubble away until the water is all absorbed or evaporated.
- Remove to a suitable container and, once cooled, store in the refrigerator.