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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bacon Jam

It might not be appropriate for the vegetarians on your list, but this year, a few of my carnivorous friends and relatives are getting something really special - bacon jam. I attempted this recipe, which is from the December issue of Everyday Food, twice - and lesson learned - will stick to the recipe verbatim (my second attempt to "freestyle" it was one big aesthetic and textural fail. But it tasted good!)

Made easily in the slow cooker, this recipes contains some unexpected ingredients - like maple syrup, vinegar and brewed coffee - and the result is a thick, sweet, and smoky spread that's perfect on toast or a warm biscuit. One recipient remarked that it was like a cha siu bao (Chinese pork bun) without the bao, which to me, was a very big compliment indeed.

makes 3 cups
from December 2010 Everyday Food
prep time: 20 min / cook time: 3-4 hrs

1 1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cut into 1-in pieces
* I used applewood smoked bacon from Trader Joe's, which added a nice flavor
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 c cider vinegar
* I ran out and substituted half with balsamic vinegar, which worked out great
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c 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 tbsp. 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, 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.

• Make sure to drain bacon well after step one, otherwise you'll end up with greasy jam.
• Leave slow cooker uncovered (as recipe states) while cooking, this helps the jam get thick and syrupy.




Lisianna said...

My Daddy would probably love this, but I just don't know if I should give a man with high cholesterol fat in a jam! lol I bet it does smell like breakfast in a jar though.

Miranda said...

This looks tasty. I'll have to try it this weekend.

Brook said...

Okay -- this looks really tasty! I love a recipe that can be made in a slow cooker. I bet the house smells pretty darn good after this simmers in the slow cooker for 3 or 4 hours. Now if you could just bottle that smell and sell it ;)

Sami and Addie said...

@Lisianna - yes it is just like breakfast in a jar! You're right, it's probably not good for someone with high cholesterol, but a little goes a long way so it's not you're not eating a lot of it!
@Miranda - let us know how it turns out!
@Brook - I would totally buy it! :)

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