Sunday, August 5, 2012

An Ode to Bacon + Bacon Jam...

Oh bacon, how do I love thee... let me count the ways. 
Okay, I'm not going to write a poem, but if I did, it would most certainly be about bacon
Bacon is my go-to ingredient
And if you follow my blog, you would've definitely noticed that pattern

Some of my favorite bacon recipes...
1. Retro Chocolate-Bacon-Peanut Butter Pie
2. "Porker Jack" 
3. Bacon-Peanut Brittle with a Kick
4. Bacon Crusted Burgers
5. Revamped: Homemade Bacon-Bourbon-Maple Glazed Doughnuts
6. Candied Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Sausages
7. Candied Bacon Caramel Ice Cream
8. Bacon Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies
9. Slow Roasted BLT Sandwiches
and...
10. My Soon-To-Be-Posted "Bacon Jam" 

Yes, you read that right. 
Bacon Jam. 
Jam made from bacon. 
Bacon that has been all jammed-up. 
Bacon bacon bacon.
Ya hear?

This Bacon Jam is the bomb. It would definitely not win homecoming queen, but it is without-a-doubt "most likely to succeed". Why you ask? Because it's deeply sweet, smoky, sticky, and utterly delicious. I mean, it's thick-cut smoked bacon that is reduced with caramelized onions, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, coffee, coca-cola, and finally, some bourbon. Oh man. After it's cooked low n' slow for an hour, you have the most amazing jam on yo'handz. You might want to invest in a muzzle, just so you won't eat the entire helpin' with a spoon (seriously). This is where my ode to bacon comes into play... I'm going to feature only bacon jam-inspired recipes this week. Yup, that's right. Wanna know what recipes to check back later for? Here they are, folks...

-Bacon Jam Cinnamon Rolls with a Bourbon-Maple Glaze

-Bacon Jam BLT's with Slow Roasted Tomatoes (with my favorite homemade bread)

-Bacon Jam + Pimento Cheese on Toasted Cornbread Crostini

And something just slightly different... 

-Chorizo Jam + Charred Corn Stuffed Empanadas (with a homemade cornmeal pastry crust)

Yes, I even made a Chorizo Jam (I plan on making Pancetta Jam too). That's just how much this Bacon Jam inspired me. Don't they all sound outta-this-world y'all? I know. And don't think these will be the only recipes because my mind is just a'racin' with so many more ideas. Think bacon jam pizza, bacon jam grits, bacon jam cookies, bacon jam this... bacon jam that. If y'all have any other suggestions for me, please leave me a comment! And I urge you not to judge this book by its' cover because it might not look all that great, but it is. It really is!! Enjoy :)
Homemade Bacon Jam 
For the Bacon Jam:
1lb Thick-Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cut into 1inch Cubes
1 Medium Vidalia Onion, Sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1t Dried Rosemary
½t-1t Red Pepper Flakes (depending on how spicy you like it, we used 1t)
¼C Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
¼C Freshly Brewed Strong Coffee
2T Coca Cola
¼C Balsamic Vinegar
¼C Maple Syrup
2T Bourbon
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

Directions:
1. Bring a deep saut√© pan or large pot to medium-high heat. Cook the bacon pieces until the fat begins to render and the edges start to brown, but the bacon is still soft. Drain the rendered bacon fat by setting a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and spooning the meat and rendered fat into the sieve. Let it sit in the sieve while you caramelize the onions.
2. Add the slices onions to the pot, then add in 1T of the rendered fat and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. 
3. Add the garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, coffee, Coke, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup, stir, and bring a light boil. Add the drained bacon and bring back to a light boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. You want to keep a low, steady simmer to reduce the liquid and thicken it without burning the jam. The process of the reduction can take as long as 1 hour.
4. If the jam becomes too dry, add 1-2T of water. Remove the bacon jam from the heat; add in the bourbon, and let cool for 20-30 minutes. 
5. Depending on your preference, you can use it as is or process the jam in a food processor to a less chunky consistency (we like our jam chunky). Once it has cooled, you can put the jam in an airtight container and store it for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. 

4 comments:

  1. You have become officially a super hero in my book! Not only that, my family knows you by name when I say something like" guess what Juliana did now?" So welcome to the family! I have an idea to put this jam on some ooey gooey baked brie (my personal favorite) My husband who is into the whole canning thing is going to try a small batch for canning, I'll let you know if first it makes it into the jars without getting gobbled down and second if it changes the texture or flavor. Lots of love.

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  2. Ok, had to try this sooner than I had anticipated, so I made some stuffed French toast, with challah bread, and a maple Jack Daniel's syrup. All I can say is there was not a crumb left! Thank you for your inspiring recipes. Keep em' coming! Lots of love.

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  3. Ok. I'm addicted to this jam!! Today I used some boneless chicken breasts (skin on though) made a pocket in them added some seeded sauteed jalapenos and then used my favorite fried chicken technique to fry them up all golden brown and delicious! Then to add some more good stuff, I drizzled with the white BBQ sauce, It was so yummy, there was none left for the midnight fridge raid. Lots of love, Miss B

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    Replies
    1. Girl, you are killin' it! You are sure putting me to shame! Sheesh :) All of your recipes sound wonderful, they're definitely on my list of what to make next! Thanks for the inspiration... I'm thinking jalapeno popper stuffed chicken breasts with some bacon jam... of course! At least I have another Bacon Jam-Junkie to come to meetings with me, haha. Thanks for all the kind comments, can't wait to hear what you come up with next!!

      XOXO,
      Juliana

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