I posted my recipe for Brie scones yesterday, recommending this bacon jam to be served with them. Today, however, I felt the bacon jam deserved its own post. Seriously, this jam is THAT good: or, rather, whenever I have made this over the past decade, people have always asked for a pot of it – one of the best compliments that can be paid!
I stumbled across bacon jam about 10 years ago whilst on holiday and it instantly became one of my favourite things: salty, smoky, spicy and sweet, it is always fantastic with cheese or just spread on hot buttered toast.
I love making bacon jam, often in large batches, and I give a very simple recipe below. You can buy good quality bacon jam, but homemade is far better and cheaper: besides, you can adjust the flavours to suit your tastes eg) with more of a chilli kick.
About this recipe
I was given a rough desciption of the recipe verbally when I first tried bacon jam: and by “rough”, the recipe was basically along the lines of “bacon, sugar, vinegar and a few spices”. Ok, I thought, well that’s a start…….
Needless to say, I did just that, adapting the recipe gradually, to give what I think is the right balance of the salty, sweet and punchy.
I do adjust the recipe from time to time: sometimes adding more chilli or using smoked chillies (dried chillies are fine), sometimes varying the sugar or the vinegar to fit in with what I have to hand: I sometimes make this using balsamic vinegar instead of wine vinegar which gives a richer jam.
Served with a savioury scone, such as my Brie scones is wonderful, but this jam is so versatile: a dollop of bacon jam with top quality sausages turns them into something even more majestic.
Or why not a simple puff pasty tart? You just roll out some puff pastry into a large rectangle, spread over some cooked and cooled onions, perhaps cooked with fresh thyme, dot bacon jam over and tear some goats cheese over the top. You then bake for 20-25 minutes and you have a tart to die for.
Bacon jam- makes one medium jar
- 250g smoked bacon: streaky, back or even a mixed pack of smoked bacon pieces
- 1 medium onion, peeled
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded or whole: go for a hot variety or a milder one….
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 60ml white wine vinegar
- 120g demerara sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or runny honey
(1) Put the bacon into into a food processer and blitz until you get a coarse texture: you can chop the bacon if you prefer chunks, but I prefer it fairly well pulped.
(2) Tranfer the bacon pulp to a pan without any oil, and heat gently to allow the fat in the bacon to render down. Cook for about 20 minutes, spooning off the excess fat.
(3) Put the remaining ingredients into the food processer and blitz to give a smoothish paste. Pour over the bacon and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Leave to simmer gently over a low heat, stirring from time to time, for about 30 minutes or until there is little liquid left, and what is left is thicker and syrupy.
(4) Spoon into clean, sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge and tuck into as often as you want to!