Sun-Dried Tomato Bacon Jam
Bacon Lovers Rejoice — It’s Bacon Jam!
OK, I admit it – I find the flavor bacon absolutely divine! A little bacon, rendered crisp with the fat discarded, seems to possess a magical way to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. The smokey, salty flavor just elevates the entire dish. I know I’m not alone in my adoration; in recipes, on menus, in cocktails and even on Pinterest, the love of all things bacon seems to have a devoted following!
I was inspired to try my hand at making bacon jam after I purchased a ready-made jar at the grocery. The first red flag should have been that the jam, containing supposed bacon, wasn’t refrigerated. The first spoonful yielded an oddly chemical “bacon” taste, and an unpleasant sandy texture. So disappointing, it certainly didn’t deliver the bacon experience the packaging promised. I expected a sweet and smokey jam, similar to the one I had enjoyed on top of a burger at a gastro-pub. If I wanted a quality Bacon Jam, I was going to have to get to flavor tinkering in the kitchen, and create my own version.
The Recipe Is Born
I started with a package of uncured bacon – ends and pieces, that I bought at Trader Joes. From experience, I knew this particular bacon had the intense, smokey flavor I was seeking. As a tip, using bacon ends and pieces is a cost saving option for this recipe. You need about a cup bacon that has been chopped into small pieces and then fried, until all the fat is rendered out, and the bacon is crisp. Remove the pieces and drain on a paper towel, discarding the fat. You can also easily cook bacon in the microwave by placing the chopped pieces in a microwave safe bowl; cook for 2 minutes on high, then stop and stir. Continue to cook watching closely, so the bacon doesn’t burn. When crisp, remove and drain on paper towels. The upside of using the microwave method is no messy stove to clean!
While the bacon is cooking, the sun-dried tomatoes are soaked in chicken stock to rehydrate them. Next, a small amount of olive oil is used to sauté onions, garlic, shallots, and thyme until soft. Then the bacon pieces are reintroduced, and a combination of brown sugar, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar are added. Everything is cooked down slowly, until most of the liquid has evaporated. You are left with a thick, savory & sweet jam – a real party in your mouth! The entire recipe is at the bottom of the post.
Creative Ways to Use Bacon Jam
This sun-dried tomato and bacon jam is a very versatile recipe. Serve it as an appetizer paired with whipped goat cheese and fresh dill, slathered on a toasted baguette. If you’re entertaining, this makes a perfect addition to a cheese board; read my post for ideas on how to get started. Spread it on your morning bagel or english muffin, and top with eggs for a yummy weekend brunch idea. I’ve even used it to make a tasty vinaigrette for a summer pasta salad. Top your burgers with it, add it your grilled cheese sandwiches, or top your favorite panini. These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you have an idea and want to share, leave a comment; because what inspires you, inspires me!
The jam should be refrigerated in a sealed container, and can be kept for up to two weeks. Re-warm slightly in the microwave before serving to re-awaken the intensity of the flavor. I hope you’ll give it a try!
PREP TIME - Minutes
Yields - cups
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces
- 3 ounce package of Sundried tomatoes (not in oil)
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1 TBS. olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 shallots chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp. Thyme
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ¼ tsp. Pepper
- ½ tsp. Smoked paprika
- 3 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 TBS. Maple syrup
- 2 TBS. Brown Sugar
- Cover Sundried tomatoes with 1 cup chicken stock - microwave for 3 minutes - remove and allow tomatoes to soak in the stock for an additional 10 minutes.
- Place bacon in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp - drain bacon on to paper towels.
- Drain excess fat from pan - leave the browned bits on the bottom. Add 1 TBS. Olive oil - heat - then add onion and shallots season lightly with salt. Cook stirring occasionally until browned - about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute - don't let garlic burn.
- Add tomatoes with chicken stock to the pan. Next add balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and brown sugar - stir to combine. Add the cooked bacon, thyme, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Stir to combine.
- Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse - you want it to be slightly chunky. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. At this point, the bacon jam can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Rewarm slightly before using.
inspired in the kitchen
How To Make A Great Cheese Plate
Easy Entertaining: Recipes and ideas on how to put together the perfect cheese plate. Picking, pairing and presenting a selection of cheeses, meats & toppings is easier than you think!
Meals Are Always Best When Shared
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