I don’t even really know what to say about this crack-like substance that, slathered over just about anything, will take your holiday eating to the next level.
It’s sweet. It’s salty. It’s smoky and it’s sour. It’s bacon-y perfection, really.
This morning, we ate it inside of our egg burritos with sharp white cheddar cheese.
Last year, in a hut in the Sierra we skied to for New Year’s, we ate it on our grilled cheese sandwiches we made with Schat’s jalapeno bread.
I think it would be delicious on a biscuit. Or an oatmeal scone. French toast. Pancakes? Maybe.
Honestly, I think the sky is kind of the limit here, this stuff is just SO good. You won’t regret the 3 or so hours you’ll need to make it, much of which is spent just waiting and wishing it would cook down a little faster so you can eat it on something, anything.
I used the same recipe we used last year, because we liked it so much. I added chile powder, hoping it would give it a little kick–but honestly, I can’t really detect it. We had ambitious goals of perhaps separating the batch into two so that we could make different variations, maybe one with poblano chiles, or perhaps add some cocoa powder and spices to try a take on Mexican mole.
But in the end, we kept it simple, partially out of laziness and partly because I decided to just let the deliciousness of the bacon shine through.
Martha Stewart does a crock pot version, but I didn’t try it. The recipe I use comes from a blog called Foodie with Family, and as with a couple of other recipes out there, I have always had to adjust the cooking time. I don’t know if it’s my stove or what, but I don’t know how in the world anyone can get to the right texture and consistency in the prescribed one hour and 15 minutes. I have always had to simmer mine for at least two full hours to get there, so I’ve adjusted the cooking time to reflect that; your time could very well vary depending on your stove.
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Adapted from Foodie with Family
Notes: I always cook my bacon in the oven. Why? Because it’s way less messy and it cooks very evenly. It doesn’t curl either. It’s the greatest, and I’ve detailed it below. Try it! If you want to add chile powder, add about two tablespoons or so with the other ingredients.
3 pounds bacon
4 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat side of a knife or a pan and peeled
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
1½ cups very strong brewed black coffee
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375. Lay bacon out on two cookie sheets and bake, rotating sheets and turning bacon at least once until nice and crispy. I had to cook a third batch to get all three pounds cooked. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings into a heat-proof jar with a tight-fitting lid. Save for another use! Chop the cooked bacon into 1″ or so pieces and set aside.
2. Place the drippings into a large pot or a Dutch oven back and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, stir well and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 8-15 or so minutes, until the onions are mostly translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and drop heat again, this time to low.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stir the browned bacon into the onions and liquid.
4. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking. When the onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy, remove the dutch oven from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the contents of the Dutch oven to the work bowl of a food processor that has been fitted with a blade. Fit the lid in place and pulse several times or until the Bacon Jam is a spreadable consistency. OR use an immersion blender if you have one (preferred, way eiasier and less messy!) Scrape into a jar (or jars) or a container with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
6. Can be served cold, room temperature or warmed. Give as a give or hoard it all for yourself…