It feels like a hundred years ago since Kate and I were in Ireland. I have been thinking back on Ireland lately; its green green beauty, its biting spring cold and of course the fabulous folk we met there. My reminiscences having been driven by part wanderlust; part Bacon Jam.
One highlight of the Plate to Page course which we attended was the hefty goodie bag we received. Sadly said goodie bag was ridiculously heavy and some of the items had to remain with delegates not taking a flight home. Now one of the little treasures I did bring home from that trip was a jar of Ed Hick’s Bacon Jam. Bacon Jam. They had Dear Husband at Bacon; and then again at Jam. It was a short love affair of a mere 180 g.
What is this bacon jam I speak of? Consider bacon jam the king of the relish world; it is sweet but also sour, with the intense flavour of slow cooked bacon and juicy bacon fat. Basically, it’s rather like chutney that thinks it’s a jam, which you use as a relish.
Since making a jar of my own seemed a little cheaper than heading back to County Navan, I set about finding a recipe. Finally, towards the end of last year I was paging through the 2012 Martha Stewart Christmas magazine looking for some festive inspiration, and in the section on homemade gifts I came across a recipe for Bacon Jam. I did think Martha mistaken for suggesting that you give away your Bacon Jam for free.
Today’s recipe is my take on Martha Stewart’s Bacon Jam, the original recipe can be found online.
What to do with it? Spread it on toast or French Toast; serve it with eggs; gourmet your lunch sandwiches with it; serve it on with your cheese board – my goodness simply eat it from the jar (actually maybe only do that if you are alone).
- 2 x 125 g packets back bacon, rind removed, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2.5 ml (½ t) ground ginger
- 2.5 ml (½ t) cayenne pepper
- 5 ml (1 t) Dijon Mustard
- 65 ml (¼ C) whiskey
- 80 ml (⅓ C) white wine vinegar
- 65 ml (¼ C) maple syrup
- 80 ml (⅓ C) brown sugar
- Brown the bacon in batches in a large saucepan, removing and reserve the fat after each batch. Set aside.
- Place 30 ml (2 T) of the bacon fat into the pan and add the onion and the garlic. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat until the onion softens.
- Add the ginger, cayenne pepper and Dijon mustard and stir through.
- Add the whiskey and bring to a boil.
- Add the vinegar, the syrup and the sugar and return to the boil.
- Add the bacon to the pan and lower the heat. Simmer the jam for about ten minutes or until the liquid reduces to a thick glaze.
- Process the mixture in a food processor until it has a thick and chunky jam like consistency.
- Store refrigerated in sterilized airtight jars.