I have wanted to create my own bacon jam recipe for a while now and I finally carved out some time and went to work slinging ingredients around like a mad scientist.
There's actually a lot of similarities between most bacon jams and I had no desire to completely reinvent the wheel but I did want to tweak the heat, the sweetness, and the depth to what I felt was a perfect balance of those three nuances that make bacon jam so dang amazing!
You can of course, tweak this recipe to your own liking if you so desire.
More importantly, make some of this and have it ready as we are going to be using this in several recipes coming up and I personally cannot wait!
In the picture below you will see that I cut the bacon into ~1-inch pieces before cooking it. This worked fine but you can also cook the bacon as whole slices if you prefer.
I decided on frying the bacon in a 10-inch iron skillet since I wanted it to be somewhere between soft and crispy.
The end result works best if it is firm but not crispy. Remember that bacon keeps cooking for minute or two when you remove it from the pan.
When the bacon is finished cooking, remove all but a couple of tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan.
Step 2: Dice/Chop the Onion
To do while the bacon is cooking:
Dicing an onion creates nice and neat little cubes while chopping creates various, irregular shapes of onion. I like the texture variation of chopping the onion for this recipe but if you prefer it to be a little more consistent, dicing is the way to go.
I used an onion that was somewhere between medium and large.. not quite a softball, but close.
Yellow onions are nice and sweet and they caramelize up really well but, if you have a large bag of red or white onions that need to be used up, that will work just fine as well.
Step 3: Sauté the Onions & Garlic
Remember that skillet that we used to fry the bacon and then we left a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease in it?
Add the onions and minced garlic to that skillet over medium high heat.
Also add the 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes so the heat from that can go ahead and start transferring into the mix.
Let this mixture cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized well and soft.
When they are done, leave them in the pan but set them aside.
Step 4: Chop the Bacon
To do while the onion/garlic is cooking:
Grab a large, sharp knife and with the bacon piled up on a cutting board, commence to chopping it into smaller pieces. This will end up giving you a pile of various sized pieces of bacon ranging from crumbs to ¼ inch pieces.
If you prefer the bacon pieces to be more consistent, you can stack it up and cut it into more evenly sized pieces.
Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.
It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.