Saturday, 16 March 2013

What...Bacon Jam...Seriously

When I saw a recipe for Bacon Jam on Food Renegade the first thing I did was e-mail Spring and say "WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS".  Spring shares in my love with bacon so I knew she'd understand the urgency, I mean, Bacon Jam, how can you not want to try that!! 

Bacon, oh how I love you!!
Needless to say, Spring was over at my place yesterday to make our own version of Bacon Jam.  I had spent some time checking things out before she came over with the kids and came up with something I thought was pretty good, even better was the fact that it included whiskey.  I love cooking with wine, it adds so much flavour and a robust flavour to a lot of dishes and it's fun to drink it while you're cooking, but deep down, I'm a whisky girl (or rye girl,whatever your preference, a lot of it depends on where you live).  My drink of choice is either Wiser's with Ginger Ale or Crown Royal with Pepsi, Crown and Ginger is just too sweet for my taste, not that we need to discuss my drinking tendencies because we're making Bacon Jam here people:)

I found that a lot of recipes online add bourbon and I don't have any of it lying around but I do have whisky and I know I'll always have some on hand if I want to make some more Bacon Jam so that's what I'm going with. 

Bacon Jam

2 pounds Smoked Bacon, cut into 1" chunks
2 Onions, chopped
1 Shallot, minced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 c. Strong, Brewed Coffee
2/3 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Whiskey
1/3 c. Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

Spring chopping up bacon, I did the onions...we're gonna have to switch it up next

Start off by cooking the bacon over medium-high heat in a Dutch Oven for about 15 minutes.  You want it browned, but not crispy. Once it's done, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onions and shallots to the pot and cook them for about 5 minutes, until they're nice and soft.

Once the onions and shallots are cooked, add the garlic, brown sugar and spices and season with some salt and pepper.  Let that cook for about 3-5 minutes and then add the whisky, let that cook down a bit, about another 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the bacon, and bring it to a boil, scrapping up any brown bits on the bottom.  Once it's boiling, add the bacon and reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally for about 2-2 1/2 hours.  You want it take on a syrupy consistency.

Remove it from the heat and let it cool for about 20 minutes. 

If there's any fatty, crappy stuff on top after it's cooled skim that off and then pour it into a food processor.  Pulse the food processor until the bacon is finely chopped, about 6 or so pulses.

This makes about 4 cups of bacon jam that should keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks or in the freezer for 4 weeks according to the info I found online for storing/keeping bacon jam. 

I tried it out on crackers and it was awesome, a little sweet with a little bit of heat at the end.  It's definitely a recipe you can play with and I am going to do just that, maybe take a little bit of the sweet off or add a little bit more heat.  If you don't like coffee, don't worry, you don't taste coffee at all and from the reading I did, it's a neccessity. 

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