Consider me a convert to the Church of Bacon Jam. I had seen this floating around the blogosphere for a while, and I had my doubts. It was the onions that swayed me. In my opinion, only good things come from the long slow cooking of onions (see also : French Onion Soup, Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese). Also I had some leftover bacon from last week's pasta with bacon and tomato sauce. Since I had everything on hand, I decided to go for it.
Bacon Jam from Minimally Invasive
1 1/2 lbs. bacon sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup very strong brewed black coffee
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (or more, if you like) cayenne pepper
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. (I did mine in two batches.) When bacon is browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the pan.
Place Dutch oven back on the burner and adjust heat to medium. Stir in the onions and garlic and saute until onions are mostly translucent, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with bourbon. Stir in the bacon and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy, 30-40 minutes. If mixture starts to become dry, add up to 1/4 cup of water.
Transfer the bacon and onions to a food processor and pulse several times or until the bacon jam is a spreadable consistency. (I used the trusty immersion blender) Scrape into a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
I can't even tell you how amazing this stuff is. Words do not describe. Everything slow cooks and melts down into this beautiful syrupy, onion-y, bacon-y goodness. I was eating it out of the pot with a spoon. Then I divided it up into jars. Two quarter pint jam jars and one slightly larger jar. It's not processed like jam, so it will only keep in the refrigerator for a month or so. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'll have much of a problem eating it all. The first order of business last night was toasting some home made bread from last week and smearing a giant spoonful on top. Next up, more bread and possibly a home made grilled cheese with a little of this stuff thrown in.