Be warned that bacon jam is a highly addictive substance. You’ll no sooner make one batch than you’ll want to start another, tweaking the recipe slightly to make it a little smokier, or sweeter or spicier. Just remember that bacon jam is a condiment, not a main course to be eaten with a spoon – at least not every day.
What does one spread their bacon jam on? Scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, omelets, spinach salad, steak, burgers, salmon, grilled vegetables…the smoky, spicy, sweet flavor can jazz up just about anything. It’s a secret weapon to keep in the refrigerator, transforming a meal from blah to “aha!”
There are countless versions of this Southern specialty. This particular recipe for bacon jam leans more towards savory and spicy than sweet. The addition of coffee gives it a little kick, although not as much as versions with bourbon do…
Servings: Approximately 1 1/2 cups
Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to simmer
12 to 16 ounces of bacon (340 g to 450 g)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder (5 ml)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (a pinch)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (2.5 ml)
1/2 of a chipotle pepper en adobo, chopped (or more, but these canned peppers add a lot of heat)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (30 ml)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (15 ml)
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee (120 ml)
1/2 cup water (120 ml)
Cook the bacon, but not too crisp (save some of the fat for sautéing the garlic and shallot). Cut the bacon into one-inch pieces.
In a little of that reserved bacon fat, sauté the garlic and shallot for a few minutes to soften the garlic. Add the chili powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder, chipotle pepper in adobo, vinegar, maple syrup, coffee, water and the bacon. (As a substitution for coffee, simply use 1 cup/240 ml of water)
Simmer on low, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add a little water if the pot begins to get dry. The finished product should be thick and syrupy.
Put in a food processor and pulse a few times to blend just a little, leaving the texture somewhat chunky.
Refrigerate until completely chilled. Bacon jam will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks.