The Best Bacon Jam
This Bacon Jam recipe is literally the best in the world. I know that's a HUGE statement, but I've been told that so many times that I have to believe it. It's made by slowly simmering bacon, onions, brown sugar, coffee, and balsamic until they become thick and jam-like. We love to serve it as an easy to make appetizer with cheese and crackers.
So guess what, guys. I think I might have just made the most insanely delicious jam/condiment/cheese plate accouterment 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, my 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 favor 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 backstage, 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, “Can we, I mean, 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 for 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. 🙂
UPDATE: Since making this bacon jam recipe back in 2013, I have now officially made it 152,385 times. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But I have made it many times and it is always met with rave reviews.
There's something about the sweet onions and the smoky bacon that make this jam totally irresistible. If you're looking for compliments, bring this bacon jam to your next party. Your friends will LOVE you for it!
Your Bacon Jam Game Plan:
- Slice and cook the bacon until just before it turns crispy. Remove it, and a little of the fat, from the pan.
- Add the onions and let them cook until they're soft. Add the sugar and let those delicious onions caramelize and turn dark brown.
- Add a splash of your leftover morning coffee (I'm not joking!), some water, and the cooked bacon and let everything simmer until it becomes a ridiculously delicious jam.
- Stir a little balsamic into the jam then grab some cheese and crackers and dig in!
Is it safe to can bacon jam?
Canning meat is often not recommended because of the risk of botulism in low acid foods. But if you are thinking about canning some of this jam, it's best to do a little research to see if it's the right thing for you to do (or not.) If you decide to can some of this bacon jam, using a pressure cooker is a must; boiling water won't do. Here are a few reputable publications on canning meat to get you started:
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The Best Bacon Jam
- 1 lb thick cut bacon
- 2 extra large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced
- ½ cup brown sugar, use coconut sugar for paleo
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Cut the bacon into half-inch slices and add them 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 bits are ok. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan.1 lb thick cut bacon
- Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add the sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes.2 extra large sweet onions, ½ cup brown sugar
- Add the reserved bacon, coffee, and water 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 the heat and stir in the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.½ cup water, ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 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.