23 December 2010

Bacon Jam Redemption!

As you may or may not recall, I had a life-changing experience a few weeks back when I ate bacon jam for the first time at Back in the Day Bakery.  Like, you know how you'll always remember where you were when you heard about 9/11, or where you were when you had your first kiss?  Well, I'll always remember that day, sitting at a pretty white table, biting into sandwich heaven.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but this skillet is made for giants.

And as you may or may not recall, I was thrilled to find a recipe for bacon jam in the December issue of Everyday Food.  So I embarked upon the task of making bacon jam for myself and everyone I knew, but it ended tragically when I made a tactical error, neglected to follow instructions, and abandoned my bacon jam to go to Target.  I was really upset about it.  I was more upset about ruining the bacon jam than a person should be.

But I got back on that horse.  Or pig, if you will.


 I followed directions carefully, measured things exactly, paid attention, and even broke out the dreaded slow-cooker*. 

It was. . .delicious.  You need to make it.  Now.  Or maybe on Saturday or Sunday.  Or maybe you should make it your New Year's resolution to make bacon jam. 


And when we celebrated Savannah Family Christmas (more on that later), Cassie had the genius idea to make little mini bacon jam sandwiches as an appetizer.  (Actually, I can't remember whose idea it was--but she was definitely the one who came up with how to cook them.)  So we got a loaf of ciabatta bread, shredded some white cheddar cheese, and sliced up some sliced tomatoes.  It goes like this: bread, bacon jam, tomato, cheese, bread.  And then we cooked it like a giant grilled cheese, squashing it between to cast iron skillets (one that is made for giants) and used my badass pizza cutter to cut them into mini sandwiches. 

They disappeared within minutes.

Cassie's going to be really happy that I put this picture on the internet.

Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam (December '10 Everyday Food)

Makes 3 cups
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 HR

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup brewed coffee

Directions

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.
Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy; 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks



*Not knockin' the slow-cooker.  I know that there are lots of people who love them and do amazing things with theirs.  I think I'm just too impatient for it.

8 comments:

  1. Remember how I make ridiculous faces when you take my picture for blogging fodder?
    Also, remember how amazing those sandwiches were?

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  2. I made it! Two versions actually. The first with fancy Target (Archer Farms) bacon, the second with expensive butcher double smoked bacon... The first was better!! I ended up adding some balsamic vinegar to the second, now it's just as good, but a little sweeter.

    Either way, bacon jam. (so far good as the sandwich you had, good on leftover, reheated foccacia, and added to a frozen cheese pizza!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shoot yeah! Bacon jam is crazy good! I've heard that some people dip pretzels into it. I was wondering about it on pizza. Was that good? Also, what do you think about putting it on a burger?

    ReplyDelete
  4. The pizza was scrumptious! The salty cheese was fantastic with the sweet jam... And putting it on a burger would be great-just haven't had the chance, yet. I'm also pondering some type of baked french toast with it but haven't figured it out yet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. freckledme... aka BethJune 19, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Batch three, actually followed all the directions! Only change was to add some fresh-from-the-garden rosemary. O.M.G.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oooh, that sounds wonderful. I could seriously eat bacon jam all day every day for the rest of my life. Sure, it'd be a shorter life, but whatev.

    How did this batch compare to your others?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not a fan of coffee AT ALL; before I embark on my
    jam adventure can you tell me what it brings to the party?
    I'm thinking of eliminating the coffee and syrup and replacing
    it with reduced cola/dr pepper/root beer. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hmmmmm. Well, you should probably know that I am also a coffee hater (won't even touch desserts that are coffee-like), and the bacon jam doesn't taste at all like coffee. I think that the coffee just adds more depth of flavor.

    I know that at Back in the Day Bakery they use Coca-Cola, but I don't know the rest of the recipe. They also use, coffee, though.

    I think you could definitely try it without the coffee. Here's a link I found to someone who substituted with tea. http://www.kitchencorners.com/2010/12/bacon-jam-without-coffee.html.

    This definitely seems like a recipe that you could experiment with. Let me know how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete

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