Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bacon Jam

 
 
 
 
Everything is better with BACON!!  It's has to be, I think at this point it's probably a proven fact (if you can dip bacon in chocolate and it tastes good, its a fact).  Recently I had my Bacon class and my list of things I wanted to make with the participants was endless! 
 
Sautéed bacon, onions, and garlic.
 

There are just so many different things that one could and does do with bacon.  Unfortunately due to time, bacon jam just didn't make the list of things we could do in the two hour time frame.  But don't you worry, I just couldn't resist making this at home and trying it out. 
 

After transferring onion, garlic, and bacon to Dutch Oven and adding in the liquid ingredients.
 
First of all though what is Bacon Jam exactly.  I wouldn't say its a jam per say, but more so a "jam" in the sense that it has that consistency.  The best description I can give is that it's more like a reduction of sautéed bacon, onions and garlic and a few other liquid ingredients that are slowly cooked down.  The cooking concept is similar to how you might make an apple butter or pumpkin butter but because of the bacon in it, it will have a thicker, chunkier consistency like a jam.
 
After reducing for an 1 1/2 hours, the color has really deepened
 
After trying this when it was finished, it was just a tad on the sweet side for me, so I added in some cayenne pepper and next time with add in crushed red pepper flakes in the beginning with cooking the onions and garlic.
 

Bacon Jam
Ingredients:
1 pound bacon, cook and crumble into small pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 onion, small dice
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. hot sauce (optional)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple  cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Black pepper, to taste
Extra water

Directions:
1.  In a non stick pan, using the render fat from your cooked bacon sauté the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is aromatic.
2.  Transfer the bacon, onion and garlic mixture into a Dutch Oven (or any other heavy based cast iron pot) and add the rest of the ingredients except for the water.
3.  Simmer for around two hours, adding 1/4 cup of water every 20 minutes or so (when your mixture has reduced down you are ready to add more water, the timing various) and stir.
4.  When the mixture is ready, let cool and then place in a food processor.  Pulse a few times, being sure to leave a little chunky so you still have some texture.  (Or keeping blending to the desired texture you would like.

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