Look, mentally I know all the ethical reasons to adopt a vegetarian diet/lifestyle.
I get it, I really do. But I also just really, REALLY love meat.
More specifically, I love bacon.
When I was growing up, bacon was (and still is) more than just a food; it was a cooking ingredient that added an amazing and delicious depth of flavor to just about any food, whether in the form of actual bacon, or its liquid grease. Bacon is a *huge* reason why I’ll probably always be a carnivore.
It’s also the reason for today’s post.
I’ve had bacon jam on my cooking Bucket List for years. It was one of those things I would promise myself I’d get around to, but just never did–until now. Better late than never, but now that I’ve made it I am frustrated that I’ve been missing out on this deliciousness for so friggin long.
Bacon jam is a condiment that’s made with sauteed bacon (of course), onion and garlic. Brown sugar and vinegar are added to the mix to give it both sweetness and tang, and then the whole thing is reduced down together until it forms a sticky/sweet/tart/salty ‘spread’.
This bacon jam is super easy and relatively quick (it took me about 1 hour, start to finish) to make. I ate a heaping spoonful of mine served on top of a turkey burger, which was absolutely DELICIOUS, but you could also add it roasted vegetables, grilled cheese sandwiches use it as a killer dip for crackers and cheese.
Whatever you do, just don’t be like me and wait 10 years to add it to your cooking repertoire.
- 1 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch lardons/pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the bacon until it has a golden color/outer crust, but is not too crispy. (You will probably have to do this in 2 batches, don’t overcrowd the skillet)
Use a slotted or wooden spoon to set the cooked bacon aside on a plate you’ve lined with paper towel.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan (you can eyeball this, it should be just enough to form a thin layer across the bottom)
Add the onion to the skillet and sautee until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook just until it becomes browned/fragrant. Add the bacon back to the skillet.
Add the vinegar and brown sugar to the skillet, and bring to a boil. Cook stirring and scraping up browned bits from the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid turns syrupy and almost completely evaporates.
Use immediately, or spoon it into an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to four weeks. Serve warm. To reheat, either microwave jam for about 45 seconds in the microwave, or warm it in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.