Calling all bacon lovers! If you can’t get enough of bacon, there’s an even more delicious way to enjoy it: bacon jam. This relish is made by slow-cooking bacon along with a variety of spices to form a sweet, savory spread, and it’s becoming increasingly popular.
#Baconjam has over 24 million views on TikTok, and for good reason: “Bacon jam is a delicious celebration of sweet and salty and is perfect to use in a variety of different ways,” says Chris Collins, who shares recipes on his website Don’tGoBaconMyHeart.
Below you’ll find Collins’ top three tips for whipping up irresistible bacon jam and Rettke’s easy-to-make recipe.
1. Caramelize the onions
Most bacon jam recipes call for onion to add some flavor. But you don’t want to use any old onion! “The biggest mistake people make with bacon jam is not caramelizing the onions,” says Collins. “Caramelizing the onions is not only important to sweeten them but also to turn them soft and sticky.” He recommends cooking them for 20 to 25 minutes and stirring occasionally until they are a deep golden color. Click through for the best way to caramelize onions.
2. Add these liquids
The unexpected ingredients you might want to add to your bacon jam? Bourbon and coffee! “These both add a gorgeous depth of flavor to the jam,” says Collins. His recipe calls for ¼ cup each of both coffee and bourbon. Don’t like coffee? No worries! You can’t taste it, he assures, but it will deepen the flavor of the jam. And if you prefer to leave out the alcohol, water or beef stock can be used in its place.
3. Heat leftovers perfectly
Although bacon jam is best enjoyed fresh, you can store it if you can’t eat it right away or manage to have any leftovers. “Allow the jam to completely cool, then tightly store in the fridge for up to a week,” he adds. “Bring to room temperature before using again.” When it gets to room temperature, simply warm it up on the stove over low heat, stirring in a splash of warm water. This will also help loosen it up for spreading!
Find more tips and Collins’ full recipe here.
For another great variation, whip up this mouthwatering from Rettke’s cookbook:
Onion Bacon Jam
- 1 lb. (454 g) bacon
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 3 cups / 444 g)
- 2 large shallots, finely diced (about 1½ cups / 222 g)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. chili powder (optional but highly recommended)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the slices. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. When cool, break the bacon into about 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Drain the bacon fat, reserving about 4 tablespoons in the pan. (Be careful, it is hot!)
Add the onion and shallot to the pan over medium-low heat. Cook until the onion is sticky and browned, stirring often, 15 to 20 minutes. Mix in the garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, maple syrup, chili powder, and bacon. Simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of jam.
Serve warm or cold, but you may want to warm it slightly if it has been refrigerated. Makes 2½ cups.
From Homestead Recipes: Midwestern Inspirations, Family Favorites, and Pearls of Wisdom from a Sassy Home Cook by Amanda Rettke. Copyright ©2022 by Amanda Rettke. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Need more ideas to get your bacon fix! Click through for 11 more bacon recipes!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
For helpful bacon cooking hacks, keep reading!
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