Bacon jam

Bacon is all the rage these days, and for good reason. For one, it’s freaking delicious. It’s also quite healthy and… No, wait. Not healthy. I meant delicious. So it’s delicious, delicious, and… Ok fine, you get the idea. One of the more unique ways I’ve found to enjoy this piggy delicacy is by means of bacon jam.

Skip to the short version

The bacon, it calls to you.

The bacon, it calls to you.

Yeah, bacon jam. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well get over it, because this stuff rules.

” Greatness is upon us “

If you want to be the talk of the next office potluck and/or the envy of your friends and neighbors, whip up a batch of bacon jam, stand back, and watch the magic happen. It’s very slightly sweet, intensely bacon-y, and marvelously satisfying. Bacon jam is good on crackers, toast, salads, eggs, pizza… The list is endless. It might even be good on ice cream, but I haven’t quite worked up the nerve to try that yet. This particular recipe is a slight variant of Chef John’s creation as posted on allrecipes.com.


Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs raw bacon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 or 3 large yellow onions
  • a pinch or two of salt
  • 1/4 cup sherry or wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil


Other stuff you’ll need

  • a large pot or Dutch oven
  • paper towels
  • sufficient willpower not to eat all the bacon before making it into jam


Directions

Fry up the bacon in whatever way you are most comfortable with, being careful not to overcook it. Crispy bacon good, blackened bacon bad. Blot the cooked bacon with paper towels and set aside; reserve a couple teaspoons of bacon grease for later use.

Hmmm, what to do with a spare 1.5 lbs of home-cured bacon? Oh I know.

Hmmm, what to do with a spare 1.5 lbs of home-cured bacon? Oh I know.

Preheat your pot or Dutch oven on medium heat while you finely dice the onions. The “standard” recipe calls for 3 onions, but if you want your bacon jam to be extra super bacon-tastic use only 2 onions. Add the reserved bacon grease to the bottom of your pot along with the butter and saute the onions until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.

This is about what we're going for.

This is about what we’re going for.

While the onions cook, finely dice the bacon. You can use a food processor if you want, but I don’t like the bacon “paste” it creates in the process – I prefer to chop by hand.

Must... not... eat... bacon.... *convulses uncontrollably*

Must… not… eat… bacon…. *convulses uncontrollably*

When the onions are done, add the brown sugar, sherry/wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of thyme (save 1/2 teaspoon for later), cayenne, black pepper, and mix well. Add the bacon and water and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until a jam-like consistency is achieved, stirring often.

Greatness is upon us.

Greatness is upon us.

Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and remaining half teaspoon of thyme. And that’s all there is to it. Serve the jam warm with whatever you have handy to eat it with, be it bread or crackers or just a spoon. You’re welcome.

Why bacon jam? Why in the heck not?

Why bacon jam? Why in the heck not?




tl;dr

Bacon jam

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs raw bacon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 or 3 large yellow onions
  • a pinch or two of salt
  • 1/4 cup sherry or wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil


Other stuff you’ll need

  • a large pot or Dutch oven
  • paper towels


Directions

Cook bacon, drain, and set aside. Saute finely diced onion in butter and 2 tsp bacon grease for 8-10 minutes or until translucent. Add brown sugar, sherry/wine vinegar, 1 tsp thyme (saving .5 tsp for later), cayenne, black pepper, finely diced bacon, and water, stir well. Cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes or until a jam-like consistency is achieved. Remove from heat, add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and remaining thyme, stir until mixed through. Serve warm.



See also


Standard Recipe Disclaimer
I don’t come up with a lot of my own recipes (unless you count my own personal milk-to-Grape-Nuts ratio), and chances are the recipe posted above belongs to or was inspired by a person other than me. So if you’re wondering whether or not I ripped somebody off, I probably did. Don’t get out the pitchforks and torches just yet though! I want to make absolutely sure I give credit where it’s due, so if you think someone deserves recognition for something that I haven’t already called out FOR CRYING OUT LOUD LET ME KNOW. Thanks, I appreciate it. Here’s a cookie.


Merriman’s

meter-good+One of the many restaurants on our list of places to visit this trip was Merriman’s Kapalua, a fancy-ish establishment with – you guessed it – a killer view. We’d heard this place can get busy, so we called ahead and attempted to get reservations. Unfortunately, sunset dining times turned out to be very difficult to come by.

The best available dinner reservation time was just after sunset several days later, so my wife and I decided to go there for appetizers instead. Or, as we prefer to say: Pupus (Pronounced “poo poos”). It’s way more fun. Try it. Pupus. (giggle) We dropped our car off at the valet in front of Merriman’s – the only parking option – and walked out to the open seating available on the generously sized patio.

A sunset at Merriman's, as seen through a glass of Fire Rock pale ale. Beyootiful.

A sunset at Merriman’s, as seen through a glass of Fire Rock pale ale. Beyootiful.

” Now I remember why I’ve never liked people with more ab muscles than IQ points “

The patio is located where the old Bay Club swimming pool used to be. Well, actually, it’s still there. The pool has been completely filled with dirt and is mostly covered with a large wooden deck. The uncovered part of the pool sports a lawn and several palm trees. Very strange indeed, but also not really noticeable.

Because this blog is not called “Uninteresting Pool Trivia“, I will now return to talking about food. My better half and I browsed the pupu menu (stifled laugh) and picked out a handful of different items that approximately equated to dinner for two. The service at Merriman’s is a little bit on the slow side, but then again so is Hawaii in general. Besides, we were there to watch the sunset, so it’s not like we were planning on leaving anytime soon anyway.

Pretty darned good sliders. THERE's the beef.

Pretty darned good sliders. THERE’s the beef.

Eventually a tanned and gleeful young lad bounded out of the kitchen area to deliver our four plates of appetizers. “Well gosh!” he said. “With an order this size I’d have thought there were six people here!” Yes, thank you. We get it, we’re little oinkers. Please keep your astute observations to yourself and go iron your collection of khaki shorts. Now I remember why I’ve never liked people with more ab muscles than IQ points.

Thankfully, our pupus (tee hee) turned out to be quite tasty. The smoked bacon and bleu cheese sliders were quite beefy and delicious, and the pork quesadilla was superb – the chili mango “wattah” dipping sauce was to die for. The fish and “chips” (actually breaded and fried eggplant) was also very good; both the breading and the tartar sauce had very nicely amped up flavors. To be somewhat healthy, we also got a goat cheese salad. So there, filter-less meal delivery drone. Nyah.

Warm goat cheese with a crispy crust on froofy salad thing. It was awesome.

Warm goat cheese with a crispy crust on froofy salad thing. It was awesome.

We finished off our “dinner” with some wonderful white chocolate filled malasadas (basically donut holes), complete with local coffee caramel dipping sauce. The molten white chocolate was perilously hot, but we managed to escape with only mildly disfiguring burns. We watched the sun set as we enjoyed our pupus (yes, it’s still funny) – overall it was a very pleasant evening indeed. It took quite a bit longer to get our bill than I would have preferred, but it wasn’t a huge deal … until I saw the total. We cleared $100 easy, even with only one drink each. It must have taken them the whole 30 extra minutes we waited just to total everything up. Well, what’s one to expect? With front row seats for the sunset like we had and more than passable noms, it was still a fair deal.

In the end, I rate this restaurant a decent 9 out of 12 blond-coiffed busboys. The value-for-food formula is questionable, but it does make for a nice night out. If you’re in the mood for a delicious pupu (snort) and your wallet can stand up to a modest beating, stop by Merriman’s Kapalua for a bite.

Merriman’s
Multiple locations throughout Hawaii
www.merrimanshawaii.com

Merriman's on Urbanspoon

The Kahlua pork quesadilla was slam-dunk piggy deliciousness.

The Kahlua pork quesadilla was slam-dunk piggy deliciousness.