When you think of jam, you probably think of a sweet fruit spread. Strawberry or blueberry or fig, jam tends to lean toward fruit. My friends, today is your lucky day because we have a jam recipe that you're going to love. It's easy to make year-round, it makes any food better, and there's not a berry in sight. Bourbon bacon jam is going to be your new favorite DIY jam recipe, we promise.
What is Bacon Jam?
Bacon jam is everything good about breakfast cooked down into a condiment. It's got bacon, caramelized onions, and maple syrup, but don't just use this bourbon bacon jam for morning meals. It is excellent with an egg and cheese croissant, but it's just as good with a grilled cheese sandwich, mixed into pasta or spread on crusty bread. Pro tip: Try it on crispy tater tots instead of ketchup for a fun appetizer. You're welcome.
The hardest part of this bourbon bacon jam recipe is having patience over the total time it takes to let all the ingredients cook. Start by cutting up a pound of thick-cut bacon into one-inch pieces, then cook the bacon over medium heat for a good 10 minutes, or until the bacon is brown and most of the fat has been rendered. If you've got one, a dutch oven is the perfect tool for this kitchen project, but a large skillet works, too.
Take the cooked bacon out of the dutch oven and set aside on some paper towels. Leave about three tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan and drain the rest. Next, one sliced sweet onion goes in the dutch oven for 30-40 minutes over medium heat. Let the onions cook until they are brown and soft and starting to look jammy.
Next, deglaze the dutch oven with 1/4 cup bourbon by pouring the alcohol over the onions. Use a good basic bourbon, not an expensive one. Scrape up any of the excellent browned bits on the bottom of the pan. If you cook on a gas stove, be careful (or turn the flame off) while you add the bourbon.
Add 1/4 cup maple syrup and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the mixture. If you don't have maple syrup on hand, you can use brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for three or four minutes, until the liquid has turned syrupy, then add the bacon back into the dutch oven. Mix everything together; you can cook longer if there's still a lot of liquid.
If you like your jam more chutney style, leave it as is. For a smoother bourbon bacon jam, place the mixture in a food processor and pulse it a few times. Place the jam into one or two little mason jars and refrigerate. You'll want to let the bourbon bacon jam return to room temperature before serving, and we won't judge if you pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to help that process along.
What is Bacon Jam Used For?
While you can eat it with a spoon, the best way to serve this delicious bacon jam is to spread it on sandwiches, add it to your cheese board, and spoon a dollop to your perfectly grilled burger.
Watch: What are Bacon Bits?
- 1 lb thick cut bacon, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
- 3 Tbsp Bourbon
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- In a large dutch oven over medium heat cook the bacon until you have rendered off most of the fat and the bacon is crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Keep 3 Tablespoons bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest.
- Add the onion and turn the pan to medium-low, cooking until the onion is caramelized and jammy, about 30 minutes. Make sure to scrape up the browned bits as you go. Stir in the bourbon and deglaze the pan.
- To the pan add the apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, and maple syrup and cook until syrupy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the bacon back into the pan, stir, and remove from heat. If the mixture is still liquidy, cook a few minutes more.
- You can either keep it chunky or if you want a smoother jam, pop it in the food processor and pulse 10-15 times. Place in mason jars and refrigerate up to 1 week. Serve at room temperature.