When the holiday season arrives, the best gifts just might be from your kitchen. And when those gifts are extra decadent, well that just makes them even better.
A couple of years ago I got the crazy idea to take my homemade gifts of food beyond cookies, cakes and pure vanilla extract to bacon. Seriously. More specifically Bacon Jam.
Yes! And I have to say that with all the challenges you’ll discover as you read to the end, Bacon Jam is quite possibly the best holiday gift ever. I say that because it’s what local friends and family clamor for.
- 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces (note 1)
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (note 3)
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, more or less to taste
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (the real deal, please)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Note 1: Ignore the molasses in the photo.
Note 2: I’ve tested substituting bacon crumbles for bacon and wasn’t thrilled with the result. Your results may vary, which means crumbles are certainly an option.
Note 3: May substitute apple cider vinegar for all or part of the balsamic vinegar, which is what I do now after considering my own taste and feedback from my recipients. However, either will give you great results.
The first step is to cut the bacon crosswise into one-inch pieces and cook them in a large skillet, stirring occasionally until the fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly browned about 20 minutes.