It’s really, really rare for me to go home after a meal and say, “I HAVE to make that at home.” I’ve been doing it more lately, but my most recent foray was after Restaurant Week at Lavomatic. I tried a new appetizer, goat cheese creme brûlée, which was served with bacon jam.
Bacon jam is the perfect blend of salty, savory and sweet. We think of jam as fruit based, but this is essentially bacon (instead of fruit) cooked down with sugar and seasonings, then kept chunky or food processed a bit to make a smoother product. After a bit of googling, Martha Stewart (whose recipes are ridiculously consistent, say what you will about Martha) led me to making bacon jam on Saturday (and then, as my Twitter followers will confirm, talked about it for three days).
It is super, super easy, using techniques that just about any home cook is familiar with: frying and a Crock Pot. You can alter the flavor a bit: I’ll make the next one with a bit more maple, and maybe some chipotles in adobo, however as it stands it’s an excellent addition to your refrigerator. I made goat cheese grilled cheese sandwiches last night with this stuff, met with rave reviews. It would be an amazing topper for burgers, or on toast with a fried egg, or as a topping for bruschetta.
Bacon Jam a la Martha Stewart
1.5 pounds bacon
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup unfiltered cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
Cut the bacon in to 1″ pieces and fry on medium heat until crispy. Drain off all but a tablespoon of the leftover oil (Tip: Store it in a mason jar for future use!) and fry the onions and garlic cloves until the onions are soft and translucent. Then, add the remaining ingredients: vinegar, maple syrup, sugar and coffee and heat to boiling, stirring constantly to scrape up all of the browned bacon bits at the bottom of the pan. Boil for six minutes.
Transfer the mixture into the crock pot and cook on high for 3.5-4 hours, or until the liquid is syrupy. Let it cool and transfer into a food processor. You can pulse it for a chunky product, or puree it for a smoother product. That’s up to you.
Store in a Mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
And worry not: The Better Half is totally okay with my new boyfriend.