Bacon. Ruiner of diets and veganism. Bacon never goes out of style. Bacon is the new black, and the old black, and every black to come. Bacon makes everything better. Like Jam.
It took me a while to come around to the whole sweet and salty and savory thing. But once you make it there, it’s hard to turn away. If the thought of bacon and jam together in the same dish makes you cringe, think about it like salted caramel. Think about it like your favorite gingerbread recipe, which probably includes bacon grease among its ingredients.
This post comes to you from a good friend’s kitchen. Armed with a bottle of rosé and one of the best aprons I’ve ever seen, we drank, cooked, experimented, burned ourselves trying to eat still boiling jam, and laughed at the ridiculous antics Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta, a guilty pleasure.
Cooking is a science. And from what we learned making bacon jam, it’s a pretty flexible science. Essentially, bacon jam is any combination of bacon, onions, your favorite spice mixture, an acid, and a sweetener. One happy accident came from a regional interpretation of spice. A recipe calls for chili powder. Well, to two Texans, chili powder means red pepper. Only when tasting and our mouths were on fire did we realize that they probably were referring to something else. But it was a sweet, sweet burn.
I forgot our two helpers! Remus and Mia we indispensable in this operation. Like a true border collie, Remus was herding the shadows, making sure they didn’t get out of line. Good job Remus! 10/10 would recommend canine assistants in future endeavors.
Making bacon jam is just step one. Then you get to experiment adding it to dishes! Everyone loves baked brie with fruit jam, so why not make baked brie with bacon jam? What about a peanut butter and bacon jam sandwich? Go for it! Try it anywhere you’d use a fruit based jam. You won’t be disappointed.
A quick note about cheese: Do not be fooled by packaging. Where would you guess those cheeses up there were made? Wrong. They were both made in the U.S. Which is fine! We make some pretty kick ass cheese! Just don’t think you’re gettin’ all français français when using them.
Sadly it was a bit dark by the time all was said and done, so these little bacon brie puffs are lost in the shadows, but you get the idea. And to answer your question: yes, they were bomb.
Bourbon Bacon Jam
- 1 pound uncooked bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup strongly brewed coffee
- ½ cup sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp ground mustard
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup bourbon
- In a skillet, cook the bacon until brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Without burning yourself (careful now…) remove all the grease from the skillet except for one tablespoon.
- Place the skillet back on the stove. Cook the diced onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the coffee, vinegar, sugar, garlic, cayenne, cloves, mustard, and molasses to the skillet with the onions and stir.
- Bring to a boil and add the cooked bacon. Reduce the temperature to low and stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the maple syrup and bourbon. Make sure to scrape everything from the bottom and stir.
- Cool before serving (we made the mistake of not doing this. It’s delicious, but Don’t. Do. It.)
Bacon Jam Brie Bites
- cooled bacon jam
- cold puff pastry dough
- cold brie
- Make sure all ingredients are chilled, otherwise they will melt too much in the oven.
- Heat the oven to 400˚F.
- Line an edged cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the chilled puff pastry dough into squares and space evenly on cookie sheet.
- To each square, add an over-full teaspoon of bacon jam.
- On top of the bacon jam on each square, add a teaspoon of chilled Brie.
- Gather the corners of each square over the contents and pinch to combine.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes or until pastry dough is cooked through. Watch it carefully, you don’t want it to burn.
- Cool on racks for 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) then serve.