So guess what, guys. I think I might have just made the most insanely delicious jam/condiment/cheese plate accoutrement ever. Like, The Best Ever. It’s so good that I want to climb to my rooftop and scream it out loud. I know this whole bacon jam thing is borderline insanity (which I can’t believe I’m saying cause I LOVE bacon), but bear with me for a moment.
I’ve tried a few bacon jams before (but never tried making one), and they’ve all been pretty darn tasty. I guess it’s hard to mess up bacon + onions + sugar. But I hadn’t tried one that was extraordinary, until last week.
Early last week the handsome man and I took a trip up to the Okanagan. That’s wine country up here; often nicknamed Napa Valley North. We visited 13 different wineries and by the time we arrived at the restaurant at Hester Creek Winery (after skipping lunch in favour of more wine tasting) we were starving.
The first dish we shared was a burrata cheese plate with this bacon jam. There were a few other things on that plate too, but who’s kidding, it was all about the jam. Even the burrata took the back stage, for once in its life.
It was so different than any other bacon jam I have tried. The onions were sliced thick, and there were chunks of chewy bacon. Before we even stepped foot outside the restaurant, I had heard, “we, I mean can you (Insert big pleading smile) make this as soon as we get home” at least four times.
Last night I served this as a light starter with Thanksgiving dinner (we celebrate that a little earlier here in Canada). The room went quiet. Like, eery quiet. Like, everyone had their faces stuffed full of bacon jam quiet. I took it as a good sign.
- 1 lb. thick cut bacon
- 2 extra large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to a large frying pan. Don't worry if the bacon pieces stick together, they will come apart as they cook. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the bacon is cooked but still quite chewy. A few crispy bit are ok.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and reserve for another use.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the coffee, ½ cup of water and the reserved bacon and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the onions are thick and jam-like, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir through the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.
- Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving. There will be little spots of white fat when you take it out of the fridge. As the jam comes to room temperature, these will disappear.