Bacon Jam

I made this for the first time 4 days ago, and I’ve already had to give out the recipe twice…

Properly speaking, it’s Bacon, Bourbon & Maple Syrup Jam. Yuh. Sounds kind of fabulous, doesn’t it? It’s not jam at all, of course, but the consistency is about right and there’s no other good way to describe it.

Bacon JamIt’s oniony, garlicky, tangy, bacony, sweet and smoky. I could eat it every day for every meal, but given the content, that’s probably a Bad Idea. A friend I gave it to decided it was best eaten straight from the jar with a teaspoon, but then, he’s a bloke and they do that stuff. It’s good on cheese sandwiches, any kind of barbecued meat, ham & eggs… in fact, anywhere you want a tasty, savoury condiment of some sort.

Drooling yet? Away we go, then.

700g (1½ pounds) mixed back and streaky bacon, cut into 5mm (¼ inch) shreds*
2 large red onions, peeled and finely diced
4 crushed cloves of garlic
½ tsp hot chilli powder
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ cup bourbon
½ cup maple syrup (not the best quality, you just want sweetness and a hint of maple flavour)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup soft brown sugar

Sterilise three 400g (14 ounce) jam jars by running them through a hot dishwasher cycle, or boiling jars and lids in a pot of water on the stove for 10 minutes. Keep hot until you are ready to fill them.
Fry the bacon shreds in batches till brown and crispy, and the fat runs off them. Drain on paper towel to remove as much fat as possible. Leave some bacon fat in the frying pan, about 2 tablespoonfuls.
Fry the onions over a medium low heat until they soften, become translucent, and start to become slightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the chilli powder and paprika and stir through.
Turn heat up to high, and add the maple syrup and bourbon to deglaze the pan – be careful, it’ll spit viciously. Scrape up all the yummy bacony fragments from the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil, and boil for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, stir through well and boil for another 3 minutes.
Add the bacon, stir through and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or so. The mixture will thicken gradually.
Remove pan from heat. If there is a slick of fat on the jammy mixture, you can if you wish remove this by straining. I didn’t see enough to worry about…
Transfer the hot bacon jam to the hot jars, and screw down the lids. Allow to cool a little, then refrigerate. I have no idea how long it’ll keep. Ours was eaten long before there was any chance of it going off. And in any case, it’s full of salt, sugar, alcohol and vinegar. Perfect preserving media, all of them…

It’s best heated up a bit in the microwave if you’re going to dollop it onto your meats. Pretty darn fine cold on a sandwich, too…

(Based on at least a million other recipes on the internet. Even I could never have thought of bacon jam…)

*Note: As you can see from the photo, I didn’t cut the bacon fine enough the first time round, which is why I’m suggesting shreds, which will integrate better into the mixture. My knife skills are not ninja-level, and I’ll cut the bacon with kitchen scissors. It’s nice and quick.

And that’s how you make bacon jam.

33 thoughts on “Bacon Jam

  1. craftycreeky says:

    Sounds amazing, I’ll have to try that one, though I can imagine my OH’s face at 1/2 cup of Bourbon going in!!

    • katechiconi says:

      What he doesn’t know (until after he’s tried it) won’t hurt him… I bought the cheapest, smallest bottle I could find, I wasn’t about to put any of our aged Woodfords in it!

  2. I bet it would be wonderful with cream cheese on crackers.

  3. EllaDee says:

    Thank you muchly… I think the timing of our return home and festive season visitors will see me making this, and my Dad would love a jar for Christmas 😋

  4. ladyredspecs says:

    Sounds like a delicious treat Kate, I’m going to give a small batch a a go without onion and garlic, let the bacon and booze sing a duet

  5. Mmmmm!! Everything is better with a little bacon:)! Thank you for the fun recipe. I can’t wait to try it out!

  6. Well, it certainly sounds delish – my reservations are based on my love for bacon au natural (ie. crispy strips straight from the pan) but I’ll give your concoction the benefit of the doubt.
    PS. Bacon biltong is getting pretty popular over here these days! 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Bacon biltong! How to make the pleasure truly long lasting! Seriously, though, this is basically onion jam with LOADS of extra bacon, and on that basis, you simply have to approve of it.

  7. tialys says:

    If I can find any decent bacon over here – from ‘happy’ pigs – I might give it a go. I don’t rate my chances very highly though. I usually get the husband to bring free range pork sausages and bacon over from the U.K.

    • katechiconi says:

      I used ‘economy bacon’, which is a kilo pack of offcuts of back, streaky, etc. I’d love to try it with some really good smokehouse bacon… hard to come by round here.

  8. I’ve got a HUGE bottle of bourbon in the dresser that I’ve been wondering what to do with… I could probably make about 100 jars… and then expire from excess sugar, fat, salt etc

  9. Carole says:

    That sounds amazing. All my favourite things together in a jar.

  10. Thimberlina says:

    Sounds delicious! My pinterest now has a new folder just for your recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Emma says:

    Wow this just sounds so fabulous Kate! I can already see it on fresh homemade pancakes!

  12. judybushey43 says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. My husband will adore it!

    • katechiconi says:

      If he’s anything like mine, I think he will! It’s a good job the recipe doesn’t make huge quantities; once the three jars are eaten, you can enforce some healthy eating before making the next batch!

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