It has taken me a few years to get on the Bacon Jam bandwagon. I just wasn’t seeing the value in the extra glazing and cooking when bacon is in and of itself pretty darn great already, but boy am I sorry.
A week ago I was in Anchorage taking my NCLEX, the licensure test to become a Registered Nurse, and I had the most amazing salad – grilled romaine lettuce, bleu cheese crumbles, creamy bleu dressing, all topped with bacon jam. I was in town only 3 days and ate that salad two out of three dinners.
I came home a bonafide RN! Then immediately had to recreate this jam and that salad… a post I am scheming to write as soon as perfected. I reviewed countless Bacon Jam recipes, finding an onslaught of options – slow cooker, dutch oven, skillet recipes; bourbon, rum or whiskey, onion or shallots, vinegars of all varieties. So I decided to cull the flavors I fancy and create a jam of my own making. The result was a maple and whiskey glazed savory salty jam that basically is good on everything… we have had it gloriously lighting up sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches, warmed on charcuterie platters, topping thick cheeseburgers dripping with Asiago, on a spoon straight from the jar…
Make this jam and you will not be sorry. If you are in a sharing mood it would make a very nice gift with a loaf of crusty bread and a hunk of tangy cheese.
Maple & Whiskey Glazed Bacon Jam (yield approximately 3 cups)
- 1 1/2 lbs bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced (optional)
- 1/2 cup whiskey
- 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon stone ground dijon mustard
In an enameled or well seasoned dutch oven, over medium high heat, work in small batches to brown the chopped bacon, straining off the grease each time. Once all browned set aside on paper towels to drip off any excess oil.
In the same pan, using only a skiff of the bacon grease to prevent sticking, slowly caramelize the onions on medium low heat. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes, add in the garlic, paprika, cayenne, and ginger if you chose to use it (my husband prefers the jam without, I like it with the ginger). Cook the garlic & spice edition 1 minute then carefully pour in the whiskey and maple syrup scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to take up any browned bits that may have stuck. Bring the contents to a boil then reduce to medium low heat once more.
Return the bacon to the pan along with the vinegar, sugar, and mustard. Simmer, stirring often, until all the excess liquid cooks off and the jam gains a thick marmalade type consistency. Turn off the heat and scoop the jam into clean glass jars with lids, refrigerate at least one hour before use and up to 1 month.
This jam is best served warm, but cooled on crackers with a bit of cheese and sauerkraut is mighty yummy too!