Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Makin' Bacon...Jam, that is

Yes, you heard me right. Bacon Jam. How good does that sound just rolling off the tongue? Say it with me slowly....baaacooon jaaammmmm. It is kind of like yoga. I recommend saying it three times each morning in lieu of meditation. I recommend eating as much as you can get your hands on.

Let's start at the beginning. I spent three days in Indianapolis at a work gathering. My diet consisted of hotel banquet food [insert spitting sound here], hotel bar food and well, liquor. So immediately on my return, my husband and I went out to eat. My requirements: no bar food. Where did we go? AP Crafters. Yes, that would be a pub-like restaurant. However, the food was so not what I had been eating all weekend.

When I saw Bacon Bruschetta on the menu, the deal was done. Described as "bacon jam, caramelized onion, brie, arugula, candied walnuts, pear tomato on crostini", it did not fail to deliver. I was immediately in love and obsessed with replicating. I asked the manager when he came around what exactly bacon jam was and he leaned to talk low so no one else could hear him tell me their deep dark secrets, and said "rendered quality bacon and our secret spices, cooked down to a jam". WTF? Why bother to whisper? You told me nothing I didn't already know.

So once home I still could not get the taste of that wonderful manna out of my mouth or mind. On to Google for research. Apparently there is product you can buy but you know me better than that. After researching several sites recipes, none the same, I took what I liked and what I thought I tasted in the restaurant's version and voila!

It takes time, but the good news is it makes a good amount. After knowing the recipe works, I will be making this as gifts in the future (hint, hint). Here is my recipe:

1 pound bacon - the best bacon you get your hands on, smokier the better
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion sliced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 drops of hot sauce (I am a wienie)
3/4 cup coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 drops of liquid smoke (if you can't find smoked bacon)
Black pepper to taste
extra water, if needed

Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces and fry the bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp.

Next, saute the onion and garlic in the rendered bacon fat on medium heat until translucent. Drain the majority of the bacon grease, leaving about 2 T. But don't toss the rest - oh god no. Save it for future uses.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the water. Simmer for 2 hours or so until reduced. Add 1/4 of a cup of water, if needed to keep from burning. Stir.

When ready, cool for about 15-20 minutes and then place in a food processor. Pulse for 2-3 seconds so that you leave some texture to the “jam”.

Now comes the best part - eat it and enjoy.


Joe said...

You are evil. This better not be a one-off thing. I am drowning in my own drool.

Kim said...

Now see, I would stop after the 1st pic and just eat it all :) I like salty bacon, not sweet, so this wouldn't work for me.

Melody said...

It really isn't sweet. It is rich, smokey rich. The coffee adds a depth but it doesn't taste like coffee. The onions cook through adding another layer of flavor. The brown sugar and maple syrup mix well with those and it just tastes fantastic. Spread on a baguette or pizza - O.M.G.