Sunday, December 17, 2017

Smoky Bacon Jam

I have wanted to make this Smoky Bacon Jam for a long time. I would see pictures from time to time, and think "I need to make that."

The one thing that really held me back is it's not shelf-stable. Smoky Bacon Jam must be stored in the refrigerator, so, with that in mind, I wanted to make it at a time I thought we would use it up.

Over the holidays, with my adult kids and grandsons all gathering around, I thought this would be the perfect time to experiment with Smoky Bacon Jam ... oh my goodness, where has this been all my life?  It's smoky, sticky, sweet, and baconilcious!

It is the PERFECT jam to serve topped on baked brie, spread on burgers, grilled cheese, crostini, or served with a roasted or grilled pork loin. Heck it's even good slathered on a toasted English muffin.

1 1/2 lbs sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, cut into a small dice
1 tsp. dried minced garlic
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup

In a large saucepan over 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.

Pour off all but 1 tbls drippings from the skillet and reserve for another use. Add the onions and garlic to the saucepan 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 saucepan for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to combine.

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, approx. one hour. If making this in a slow-cooker, transfer jam 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.

Let the bacon jam cool slightly before transferring it to a food processor and pulsing until coarsely chopped.

Spoon the bacon jam into individual jars and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. Transfer to a pan and rewarm gently over low heat prior to serving.

Yield: 2 - half pint jars or 4 - four ounce jars


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