Friday, September 21, 2012

Get ready - It's Bacon JAM!

OK, I made this last year, and gave away a few half pint jars as holiday gifts. I also took 1 or 2 to different parties, where I'd volunteered to bring an appetizer. I think you either love it or hate it.  I, personally love it, but one of my besties said she and her hubby just didn't get it. Well, different strokes for different folks! ;-)

This is the first blog that I'm going through and posting pics from different stages of readiness. Hopefully, if you decide to make this, you'll be able to gauge your jam from the pics posted here! :D

If you do decide to make it, you can eat the whole jar with cream cheese and Ritz crackers (I have!) Or, it is perfect on an fried egg sandwich (makes it taste gourmet) and also wonderful smeared on a burger. Use your imagination while trying to decide how to serve/devour this!

I started with a recipe from my friend at, Lori Mama, who has been to Virginia Beach and visited with my family. She posted this recipe for Bacon Jam, which I made (and fell in love with) last fall. When working on this for my holiday gifts, I googled and found Martha Stewart's recipe too. You can find it here: Slow Cooker Bacon Jam This version appealed to me, as it used a slow cooker (1.5 quart is PERFECT for this recipe. Here's a link to the one I use: party slow cooker) and it required no 'tending' (i.e. adding the extra water every 30 minutes or so...) But of course, I've combined the best of both and am going to share it with you now!

Alli's Bacon Jam
1 1/2 lb. center cut bacon (for more flavor, you may use applewood - I have)
1 smallish sweet onion (vidalia, walla walla, maui sweets, etc.), diced finely
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed through the press
3/4 c. brewed coffee (use what's in your pot)
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. sriracha (I just give a good squirt)
fresh ground black pepper

~Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces (easier to do if partially frozen) and cook in a frying pan until golden and beginning to get crispy (approx. 20 minutes.)
*I have also done this step in the oven, cooking at 400ยบ for about 16  minutes, turning once and cutting into small pieces with shears, while bacon is still hot. Don't forget to reserve a tbsp. of bacon fat for 'sweating' the onion and garlic.
~ Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, and add onion and garlic to pan with 1 tbsp. of bacon fat, letting them cook 'til translucent - took me about 4 minutes.
~Add next 7 ingredients to skillet, scraping up brown pieces as you go, reducing the liquid just a bit.
~Return bacon to pan, making sure everything is well mixed.

~Transfer mixture to small slow cooker, set on medium. Stir every 30 minutes or so, for 6 hours. I remove the lid for the last hour or so.

~Let mixture cool a little, then pour into a food processor, pulsing a few times, until you reach a good consistency. It should still be a little 'chunky', not whirred to a puree. (I reserve 1 cup til the last couple of 'pulses', to retain texture.)

~You may now divide the mixture into jars (3 8 oz. jars) and refrigerate. This will last approximately 4 weeks, so just eat it UP!! Serve with cream cheese on butter crackers, or alone on a baguette slice. Smear on your next burger or hook up your next eggs benedict, as a surprise!

Be sure to share with your friends - they'll thank you! :D AND, leave me a comment if you make this, letting me know how it turned out for you or how you served it!

Thanks for stopping by...