28 July 2011
Before I get started on the post I'd just like to mention that this will be my last update for about 2 weeks, as I'm going on a bit of a holiday.
In the comments of my recent Bacon Bagel Burger post, one of my readers - Jacqueline, a fellow food fanatic who also has a tasty wee food blog - mentioned something that sounded simply too good to be true: Bacon Jam! While I have tonnes of other bacon ideas and recipes to try, and most of the time when I think or hear of something new I simply add it to the list, I couldn't stop myself making a batch of bacon jam straight away.
Unfortunately Jacqueline didn't have a recipe of her own to share, but a quick bit of googling brought back a fairly long list of contenders which I narrowed down to a handful, before finally choosing the one over at Not Quite Nigella. Why did I choose that particular recipe? Well, most of the recipes I found were quite similar, varying mainly in quantity (and even then only slightly) of the ingredients used, though quite a few of them also had a "quirk" of some form, which I did not want. Seeing as I've never tried, never mind made, bacon jam before, I wanted a nice basic recipe and the one at Not Quite Nigella ticked all my boxes.
The result, let me tell you, was absolutely, mouth-wateringly, delicious! I've only tried it on its own so far, but it would go amazingly well in a cheese sandwich, with pate, in a burger, with a dark, rich, chocolate cake.. The possibilities are endless! I will come back with an update once I've tried some of them. Oh, nearly forgot to mention that while it is called jam I do think it's more towards the chutney side of things.
Let's take a look at what you need - the ingredients over at Not Quite Nigella used (silly) American measurements, so I translated them to proper ones using the magic of Google:
- 500 grams of Smoked Bacon
- 4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 3tbsp Brown Sugar (I used Molasses)
- 240ml Coffee
- 60ml Apple Cider Vinegar
- 60ml Maple Syrup
- Tabasco to taste (I used about 1-2tsp)
- Freshly cracked Black Pepper to taste (I used about 3tsp)
- 240ml of water
1) Fry your bacon in a non-stick frying pan (no need for extra fat) - unless you have a massive pan, you'll want to do this in batches.
2) Once you're all done your pan should have a nice bit of bacon fat in it, chuck in your onion and garlic over a medium heat and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cut your bacon into 1-2cm wide strips.
3) Transfer your onion, garlic and bacon into a slow cooking pot like a Le Creuset, and add all of the remaining ingredients except for the water. Simmer for 2 hours, adding 60ml of water every 25-30 minutes (keep an eye on it, though, I had to add water after 20 minutes towards the end).
4) Set aside to cool for half an hour or so, before blitzing for a couple of seconds in the food processor - until it has the consistency you like.
Update: One day later, I've just had my very first bacon jam sandwich! I decided to keep it simple, so the sandwich consists of nothing but bacon jam and seriously strong cheddar, served on a pain rustica roll from Waitrose. While I really liked the taste of the jam just on its own, used in a cheese sandwich it caused an absolute mouthgasm. You really, really have to try it, trust me.