There is never a shortage of bacon in this household. I buy bacon at the grocery store and from the local farmers’ market and have a package at all times in both the refrigerator (for using up on a daily basis) and the freezer (gotta have a backup!). When the freezer in our garage died, the backup bacon freezer, I suddenly needed to make something with a 2-pound package of bacon. What could be better than chopped up bacon, stewed into sweetened bacon jam? Nothing, except for a Triscuit cracker topped with said jam and a slice of gooey Camembert cheese!
The process is quite simple – chop up a bunch of bacon and throw it in a saucepan with some flavorings and let it simmer until sweet, sticky and delicious. The jam will last for weeks in the refrigerator, or you could follow some proper canning procedures and keep it for months in the pantry.
- 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large sweet onions, finely chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground chile powder (not chili powder blend)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just browned and starting to crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining bacon, reserving any browned bits and 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chile powder, ginger, mustard and black pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high and stir in the bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add the vinegar and brown sugar and return to a boil. Stir in the reserved bacon, reduce to a gentle simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a thick, syrupy glaze, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 weeks.