May 28, 2012

Sweet Onion & Bacon Jam

My last day of school was May 22, so this weekend kicked off my three-month long summer break. Boo. Yah. 

These past three days were a great mix of music, drinks, friends, sunshine, relaxation, & food. So Much tacos at Broadway Oyster Bar, shrimp boil at a friend's new apartment, and a BBQ at my boyfriend's house that offered 5 different meats...local burgers/brats/hot dogs, our own smoked sausage, and homemade bacon jam.

Let me tell you about that smoked sausage. Last weekend, I went over to Corey's house for dinner. "Whatcha doing?" I asked when I showed up. "Smoking a fatty," he replied.

Um. What? 

"Come here and look at my sausage," he insisted.


I followed him to the backyard, skeptical of what I would find out there, not expecting to see an entire roll of breakfast sausage (unwrapped, of course) being smoked on the grill.

I was Leery. Concerned. Intrigued.

After a 2-hour slow cook over some applewood chips, Corey's sausage was damn delicious. Hubba.

(Sorry, I simply can't resist a good sausage joke!)

Anyway...try this sausage. Then chill it and slice it like summer sausage. You won't be sorry. TRUST ME. 

And then, make some bacon jam. It will be a hit. I promise. It was definitely a big hit at our BBQ yesterday. 

Serve it with crackers. Smear some on a burger. Try it for breakfast on toast with a fried egg. Keep a jar on the nightstand next to the bed. WHATEVER YOU WANT. I won't judge.

Just MAKE IT already.

Sweet Onion & Bacon Jam

recipe slightly adapted from Tim Grandinetti

2 pounds thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup good-quality maple syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup brewed espresso
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes *

* I didn't add the red pepper flakes either time I made this recipe, but each time I thought that the sweet jam needed just a hint of spice. So, I will add them next time.
  • Cook the bacon pieces in a large stockpot, frying pan, or Dutch oven until browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the pan & sauté in the reserved bacon fat for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, coffee, black pepper & red pepper flakes and reduce heat to low. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then return to medium-high heat & boil hard for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the bacon back into the mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Pulse the mixture in a food processor until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

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