Food: Bourbon Bacon Jam

I’m excited to share this one with you.  When you add bacon to any recipe, it becomes instantly delicious!  But when you take a recipe with bacon and add bourbon, you can’t possibly go wrong.  This recipe is so good, you may find yourself doubling the recipe just to have it around when a craving for something sweet and salty strikes.  The added bonus is that it keeps for about month in the fridge. Trust me when I say you will want to keep some on hand.

Aside from its overall bourbonliciousness (is that even a word? Well I say it is now!), the one thing I love about this jam is its versatility.  You can set this out with a charcuterie or appetizer board, add some crackers and sliced baguette and use it just like a jam – so good. Now that bbq season is upon us, this jam will elevate your burger game.  Top your burger with some of this jam and add a slice of gouda – heaven! It is also delicious on baked brie. The options are endless. Once you make a batch, let us know how you like to use your bourbon bacon jam.  

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Bourbon Bacon Jam

Ingredients:  Makes about 2 cups

1 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise in one inch pieces (any smaller and it may burn)

One large onion, sliced   

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp of maple balsamic vinegar OR any balsamic OR apple cider vinegar (choose one)

¼ cup of brown sugar

½ cup bourbon  + 2 oz

½ cup maple syrup

 

Method:

1.    Over medium high heat, in a large skillet, brown the bacon.  Don’t let it get crispy – be sure to move it around the pan. This will take about 15-20 minutes.   Do this in batches if necessary. Once browned, place on a paper towel to drain. Remove all the fat from the pan, leaving behind 2 tbsp.  Leave the browned bits.

2.    In the same pan, with the reserved bacon fat, cook the onions and garlic, caramelizing the onions.  Scrape up any brown bits. Resist the urge to crank the heat, this will take about 10-15 minutes.  

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3.    While the onions are cooking down, pour yourself the 2 oz of bourbon and enjoy while you stir those onions.  Because caramelizing onions is serious work.

4.    Add the bourbon to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits.  Add the maple syrup, stirring until the liquid is absorbed.

5.    Add the vinegar and brown sugar and combine well.  The mixture will be close to boiling.

6.    Return the bacon to the pan and stir together.  Let it cook until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

7.    At this point, you can pulse this in a food processor or blender to make a chunky jam OR leave as is for a rustic texture and look. Whatever your prefer.

8.    Place in glass jars and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.    

Tip #1:  If you don’t want a chunky jam, quarter the onion before you slice it so the slices are smaller

Tip #2:  you can split the recipe into two pans and use different vinegars in each batch – don’t forget to label your jars!  (I loved the maple balsamic!)

Bring this to room temperature before using and you can easily reheat it if you prefer.  After you have made this for the first time, you will likely make sure you have it on hand all the time, it is seriously that good.  We would love to hear how you use your bourbon bacon jam. (aside from sneaking spoonfuls from the jar 😊)

 

Cheers!  

Maureen Linehan

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