1/17/11

bacon jam



Funny thing about the three posts I am planning this week. They seem to be brain busters and taste bud confusers. It wasn't something I necessarily planned. There wasn't a New Year's resolution to challenge my taste buds or expand my horizons when it came to food. It just happened.

Bacon Jam has been around knocking around food blogs for awhile. It has been teasing me, planting a seed, then the idea of making some slowly drifts away. I am pretty sure it drifts away because of the word jam. I see jam and I think canning, sanitizing, boiling water and as Saint Tigerlily calls it THE BOTCH. (no not bitch but botulism, kind of the same thing are they not? it would be a bitch to get the botch.)

Anyways... no matter how great everyone claimed bacon jam tasted, my mind couldn't get over the jam part. I didn't want to do the whole canning thing... even though the recipe never calls for canning equipment. That was my brain buster until Rebecca came to the rescue.



Oh Rebecca, Rebecca, Rebecca.

Some of you might know Rebecca from her blog, Foodie with Family. I have written about her before. I used to write that she is wise beyond her years, nice, sweet, always there to answer any question you might have, mother to five boys. I take that all back. She's evil. There I said it. She is EVIL. She had been bragging all day about how great her house smelled. She bragged on Facebook. She texted me bragging (would that be braxting?) She IM'd me bragging. She said and I quote, "you'll want to gnaw off your own foot off from the smell."

Ok... that last one? A little disturbing but that's what homeschooling 5 boys will do to you.



But it's the last statement that made me stop in my tracks, check the fridge and cupboards and start cooking.

The power of bacon jam also made us decide to post the same recipe on the same day because you know what? You really need to make this and maybe if we both post together you will get the hint. Maybe you'll join us wearing matching Johnny Depp shirts and those Best Friend heart necklaces that the heart are split and you wear the best and the other wears the friend but ours will say bacon and the other piece will say jam and we will be awesome. Everyone else? Well, they are going to be jelly of our jam.



bacon jam: adapted from martha stewart's everyday food december 2010

(please read the notes at the end of this recipe)

makes 3 cups

1-1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 cup of Lyle's Golden Syrup
3/4 cup brewed coffee

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, golden syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.

Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy; 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.

:::

Notes:

1. Rebecca doubled her recipe and so should you.

2. Everyone in our house is really sensitive to the taste and smell of maple syrup (it smells like old urine to everyone) The original recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of maple syrup so I cut that down to an 1/8 of a cup and added an 1/8 of Lyle's Golden Syrup.

3. When I make this again I will use Rebecca's method of using a dutch oven rather than a slow cooker. Why? I think using the slow cooker uncovered is unproductive. It seemed to draw out a little too much moisture for my liking. Cook it low and slow.

Tasting Notes: Here's another brain busting taste bud confusing aspect. My kids just looked at me strangely when I said I was making bacon jam. Katie thought it would be a meaty/salty tasting mess. Nancy thought it would be a sweet meaty nasty mess.  Will and Drew just went, 'huh'? They were all surprised. It is very nuanced and not at all what they were expecting. It's really hard to describe until you try some for yourself.  Try it on toast, with some eggs, maybe waffles, pizza, oatmeal. The possibilities will blow your mind.

4 comments:

Rebecca said...

I'm wearing my Johnny Depp shirt today, are you?

I'm Cassie.... said...

in-ter-es-ting. hmmmmm, not really sure what else to say ;)

Liam O'Malley said...

Okay yeah, this looks awesome. Gonna have to try it. Maybe not this weekend, but soon. Sounds very tasty.

But what's with the hate on maple syrup? Old urine? Pfft. Crazy Californian sensibilities.

Anonymous said...

I've made this before and it's been a hit. Had to call it 'bacon spread' so my boys wouldn't turn their noses up at it. Excellent on a hot grilled burger...