Maple Bacon Beer Jam (Recipe)
Yes another delightful recipe with that lovely taste you experienced with my Maple Bacon Donuts! It is because I love you all that I share this incredible flavorgasm and because I promised a recipe a day till Christmas! The original recipe is actually from a Martha Stewart cookbook and for a slow cooker. It includes most of the below, but I didn’t have a crock pot at the time so I recreated it to work on the oven.
The ingredients also are varied as her recipe only calls for 1 lb of bacon. Hello, one POUND only? HAH not on my watch people! During the holidays I double this and give it to friends for presents. I haven’t done this in a while because I “misplaced” the recipe. I have been searching high and low for this and where was it to be found? Well in the middle of my Chinese Food cookbook OF COURSE! (Only in my world does this kind of filing of recipes make sense, I would try to explain it but there are certain rules about how long a blog post should be…) Thankfully a friend from Anchorage reminded me how much I love this by mentioning the Steward Cafe serves this, I am sure mine is MUCH better *wicked grin*. I assure you this is amazing.
This is amazing on hamburgers, deep sea fish, bread/toast, crackers, a spoon, a fork, licking off the spreading knife.. a steak, the left over turkey for sandwiches…you name it! Bacon truly goes well with anything and this is a kick-ass bacon-gasm of a recipe! As with any recipe, you do not have to use beer. I have made it without since the original did not call for it, but a friend makes it with bourbon and one day I decided to try her recipe thinking I had some but all I had was a loan beer in the fridge. I sacrificed it to the pan and was WOWED by the complexity of the layers of flavor. As with any recipe your job is to experiment and find what works for you. Cooking is
a science experiment, there are laws of chemistry involved, just find what works with the base recipe and make it yours, as I do with any that I find and try! One of my best finds, and one that you will not find in any other jam, is apples. I added them one day when I did not have enough onions and it was incredible, a different flavor indeed and you can do this with all 2 cups just onion, but this is my version of this food porn!
MAPLE BACON BEER JAM
- Black pepper to taste (unless you are using peppered bacon, then it would be overkill)
- 1:1 ratio of the left over beer and water for while it is cooking down.
- A dutch oven and a wooden spoon (what recipe of mine would be complete without a wooden spoon!)
- Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces.
- In a dutch oven, fry the bacon pieces until they are lightly browned and beginning to crisp.
- Remove the bacon from the dutch oven onto paper towels or paper bags to drain.
- Fry the onion, apple and garlic in the rendered bacon fat. Cook until onions are just translucent. (Don’t caramelize the onions since they are not done cooking, plus you do not want the apples to be mush yet! AND don’t remove any of the fat before adding the onion mixture, there is no way cutting some calories out of this recipe is going to save you from any diet, just live it up people!)
- If the fat looks like it is excessive, drain it off or remove the onion, apple and garlic mixture out and get rid of the fat.
- Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, coffee, beer and cayenne pepper
- Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes.
- Add bacon and stir to combine.
- Simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Adding 1/4 cup of the watered down beer every 30 minutes if needed and stir.
Weck Canning Jars, my new favorite in storage!
After the 2 hours, let cool.
- Pulse in a food processor or blender. Decide if you like it chunky or smoother. (The consistency will be anywhere from a jam to a chutney depending on how much you blend it down.)
- Store in a jar and refrigerate. (It will last up to a month. You can also store in airtight high end plastic-ware, such as Tupperware© but I suggest using Bell, Le Parfait, Fido or my new favorite Weck. They have glass tops and seal wonderfully, especially when you are storing something for quick consumption since they are so easy to clean!)
The recipe yields about three cups, which is enough for three 8-ounce jars or six 4-ounce jars. Ideally this will last up to a month in the fridge, but let’s face it there is no way it will last that long with how tasty it is!