There is a serious love of bacon in my household. I think my boys would eat a pound of bacon each if I let them.
Bacon just seems to be our go-to most times when we are discussing meal planning. As my Redneck says, “Everything is better with bacon.”
Why bacon jam?
Maybe it’s just me and my family, but the concept of always having a sandwich spread in the refrigerator for a quickly thrown together lunch or snack was a staple. Maybe now a days it’s those darned prepacked wraps or cracker and cheese things, but when I was growing up, more times than not, Grandma had a huge bowl of bologna salad in the fridge for us.
Now, granted, bacon is more expensive than your typical bulk lunch meat. I know that just as well as you do. But sometimes we just have to accept that bacon is preferable.
My Redneck thinks I’m absolutely insane every time we go to the store. Even if we are just running in for some staple items (like milk or eggs or ketchup) I have to peruse the meat section of the store.
I am a sucker for marked down meat. Any of it. Yes, even chicken.
I used to skip over the chicken for fear of salmonella or other bacteria in the meat. Yes, they mark it down because it’s on the verge of spoiling. A little gross when you think about it, but if you process it as soon as you get it home, it’s not a big deal at all. I honestly come home, prep it, and get it cooking THAT DAY.
And it’s easier than ever now that I have my Instant Pot. Even if it’s a whole chicken, I just rub on some spices and get it going. Then I either serve it for dinner or shred it up to freeze.
And, believe it or not, I have been lucky enough to find bacon on clearance too.
Bacon, like most meats, can just be tossed in the freezer for up to 6 months before using. I like to date mine when I freeze it so that I can make sure to use it, and so that I can keep a good rotation going.
First In, First Out
This is one of the most important things you can do if you are planning on storage of ANY food products.
Always use the first thing you purchased FIRST.
Teach your hubby; teach your kids; train yourself.
Even if you have to make a sign to hang in front of every area that you are storing food in to remind you at first. Beat the concept of First In, First Out (FIFO) into your brain.
Back to the Bacon
Why is bacon so good?
Basic bacon, which is what we are talking about, is simply salt-cured pork. Typically it is made of cuts from the belly or the back of the hog once its butchered. Because these areas are so high in fatty areas, the salt cures the fat and makes it really good. (Come on, we all know that. LOL)
I prefer thick-cut bacon myself. I tend to gravitate to purchasing apple-smoked bacon, but really, whatever kind of bacon you like or want to budget for is going to work for this recipe.
Before I go any further, I’m talking regular pork bacon here. I have not made this with turkey, Canadian, or any other bacon that may be out there. If you want to try with another kind, be my guest. Let me know how it turns out for your personal tastes.
As for me and my family, we are going to stick to the good old fashioned carnivorous kind. I doubt we could give up meat or dairy without turning our home into a crime scene.
Best Bacon Jam
Start with whatever bacon you have on hand. Cut it into 1/2″ pieces.
Typically I cut it in half lengthwise, and then chop it into small pieces. You may cut it larger if you like (up to 1″) based on your preference. We cut it at about 1″ on our first batch, but realized that we want it a little smaller.
Fry all of this up over medium heat in a medium-size skillet.
We cooked ours very crispy, but without burning it. I like it done, but never black. I would not recommend cooking it rare. We all know people who like their bacon barely cooked, but really, rare in pork (or chicken for that matter) is too dangerous, regardless of taste buds.
We then scooped the cooked bacon out of the skillet with a slotted spoon, allowing it to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Removing all but about 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan, we then tossed in our onion and garlic to caramelize. This takes about 10-15 over medium-low heat. Make sure that everything is good and browned.
Once your onion is caramelized to your liking, add the bacon back to the pan and all the other ingredients. Stir very well and then bring to a strong simmer.
Lower the heat to LOW and cook 15-20 minutes or until thickened to a jam-like consistency. Leave it a little runnier than you think it should be. It will thicken up as it cools.
Once it has cooled completely in the pan on the stove top or counter, place into an airtight jar or container and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
The Best Bacon Jam
Kick up your bacon game with this Bacon Jam for your refrigerator. Serve with crackers, cheese, on burgers or as a sandwich spread. Every bacon lover with love this Bacon Jam!
- 1 lb bacon diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp chili powder
Place diced bacon in a medium skillet. Over medium heat, brown and fry bacon until crisp.
Remove bacon from skillet to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Reserve 1 tbsp. bacon grease in the skillet. Discard the rest.
Add onion and garlic to the reserved fat in your skillet. Cook 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat until caramelized.
Return bacon to skillet. Add brown sugar, vinegar, maple syrup, and chili powder.
Stir to combine.
Bring to a strong simmer, and then reduce heat to LOW.
Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 15-20 minutes.
Cool completely on stove top or counter.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
After making this a few times, I strongly recommend that you use a pure maple syrup in this recipe. It just makes a world of difference to the flavor. I recommend using this Crown Bourbon Maple Syrup in the recipe. The flavor of the syrup with the bacon is just to die for.
We may be experiementing even more with this recipe. As we chowed down on our burgers topped with our Best Bacon Jam last night, we were thinking of all the ways that we want to try to change and use this.
Really, it’s THAT good.
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