Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bacon jam recipe: make it at home



“Bacon jam tastes like the love child of pulled pork and pate!” said one friend. “I am now officially in pig heaven,” said another as I shared tastes from the jar of Skillet’s bacon jam that had just arrived in the mail.

Bacon jam? Yes, indeed—it is good stuff. And so good, in fact, that I decided to figure out a way of making my own bacon jam at home so I wouldn’t have to rely on someone else for this smoky, pork-rich treat.

Over the past few months, it seems that you can’t escape the topic of bacon jam. Skillet’s rendition has certainly excited people, but at heart bacon jam is simply a potted meat, something that has been gracing battlefields, picnics, high teas and nursery suppers for hundreds of years.



For most, the term potted meat conjures up images of mystery meat in a can, but traditionally potted meat was made at home from meat scraps, herbs, spices and maybe an acid or a spirit, such as vinegar or brandy. Making potted meat was a preservation method, meant to extend the meat’s life just a few more weeks. Nothing mysterious or scary about its contents at all! Matter of fact, when made from quality ingredients, potted meat is as satisfying as pate, though it’s far easier to make. And like pate, potted meat can be either elegant and smooth or rustic with chunks.

As for my homemade bacon jam, I knew that it should have the smoky fire that comes from chipotles, the warming depth that comes from chocolate and allspice, a hint of sweetness, but also the bitterness that comes from coffee and the tang that comes from apple-cider vinegar.

I chose to use thick slices of center-cut bacon because I wanted to cook my meat for a long time and didn’t want it to completely disintegrate. And finally, I also added plenty of black pepper for heat and ancho chile powder both for its color and its fruity, nutty flavor.

Unfortunately, the first batch spent too much time in the food processor and ended up with a consistency that was a bit too creamy on the tongue; you definitely want some texture in your bacon jam to remind you of the spread’s source. But subsequent batches were just the right balance between being smooth and rough, much like your favorite homemade fruit jams where chunks of fruit are nestled in a thick syrup suspension.



Bacon jam is excellent on slices of tomatoes, plopped on a warm biscuit, stirred into a bowl of beans or spread on top of a cheeseburger. Or you can just grab a spoon and dig into your jar.

But best of all, it’s superb for sharing. You’ll soon see—nothing makes a friend's face light up more then when you pass them a jar and say, “Here, have a taste. It’s bacon jam!”

Chipotle bacon jam
1 pound of bacon
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sliver of onion
1-4 chipotles en adobo (depending on the level of heat you can tolerate)
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the can)
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican hot chocolate
1 cup of brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Black pepper to taste

Method:
Cook the bacon until fat is rendered, but not too crisp. Cut cooked bacon into two-inch sized pieces.

On medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in one tablespoon of rendered bacon fat in a medium-sized pot for two minutes. Add the cooked bacon, spices, apple-cider vinegar and coffee. Simmer on low for two hours, stirring occasionally. If jam starts to get dry, add water, 1/4 cup at a time.

After two hours, place bacon jam into a food processor, and puree for two or three seconds, tops. You just want to bring it together but still have some chunks.

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88 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to say that Bacon Jam is new to me I never saw it in the 23 years I lived in Texas! chris

Rapunzel210 said...

I've never heard of bacon jam but it sounds pretty good. I might just give it a try!

texannewyorker said...

YAY! The first time I ever saw Bacon Jam I hoped you would make it and give us a recipe. Wish GRANTED! Thank you!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

How cow Lisa! What a perfect Homesick Texan recipe. Or should I say holy pig?

bigcharvey said...

Hi Lisa, I just checked out this recipe via a posting on Metafilter, and it looks amazing. So does the rest of your recipes! I love your site, and I will be checking it out regularly now. Thanks for representing our great state with such class and talent!

Texana said...

Mercy!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, that is a devilish jam! I'm drooling! It looks and sounds so good...

Cheers,

Rosa

Kimberly said...

Lordy Mercy!

avis said...

"Cook the bacon until fat is rendered, but not too crisp."

How do I know when to stop cooking?As many times as I have made bacon I never know when to stop and it's just lucky I can eat slightly overcooked OR undercooked bacon because it's a crapshoot every time.

Also - I LOVE your site. I love the stories and the recipes.

Tommy said...

This is great. I am so making this on the weekend.

This also looks quite tasty and versatile compared to a pate or rillette. You could probably put it on top of a pasta like pesto, add an egg, a new spin on carbonara.

Pork/bacon producers around the country are grateful,I'm sure.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Mmm.....bacon....I think I will just have to make some!

Cowgirl Chef said...

Oh my lord. I just finished a BLAT (bacon-lettuce-avocado -tomato) sandwich, and wouldn't that just be finer than fine with some of that bacon jam? Can't wait to make this.

Phoo-D said...

Oh dear. When MattBites wrote about Skillet's bacon jam I could ignore the temptation since it required ordering it in. I fear I cannot resist the flavors much longer. This sounds AWESOME.

Julia said...

This looks great. I'd like to try it but I hate coffee--any ideas for what to replace the coffee with? Obviously the liquid is necessary, but I'm afraid if I just replace it with water the flavor won't be very good.

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

I had no idea bacon jam even existed... thanks for sharing this recipe, it sounds like a treat I might make for my boyfriend who loooooves bacon!

Mary said...

That's a new one for me too - just saw tomato jam somewhere recently and now bacon jam! Well, anything with bacon is alright by me!!

tanenblatt said...

You don't actually mention what to do with the onion...

fast cooker said...

where can I buy adobo sauce ?

catererpaul said...

I lived in Texas for 24 years - in Dallas the natives called it "Drippings in a tin" as some keep drippings cans on their stoves. I jared many a can of potted pork for my catering clients, yum!

CowboyCooler said...

I've lived in Texas the entire 40 years I have walked this earth and have never heard of Bacon Jam, but it sounds awesome!
How great would a breakfast taco with eggs over-easy, bacon jam, grated colby-jack, and some good home-made spicy "beak of the rooster" (pico de gallo) be?

srbeack said...

NICE! This sounds fantastic and you're a trendsetter again. Someone on Top Chef used bacon jam...bet a well-seasoned cast iron skillet would impart a great complexity to the flavor.

CowboyCooler said...

tanenblatt, the onion is mentioned under Method:, 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph. But how much is a sliver?

Kalyn said...

Oh my! Never heard of this but have no doubt it would taste great!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Chris--It was new to me, too until recently.

Rapunzel210--It's good stuff!

TexanNewYorker-Happy to help!

Miss Meat and Potatoes--Holy pig, indeed!

bigcharvey--Aw, thank you!

Texana--Ha!

Rosa--It is indeed good!

Kimberly--Mercy indeed!

Avis--Cook it for a couple of minutes on each side.

Tommy--I like that idea!

TastyEatsAtHome--Hope you like it!

Cowgirl Chef--Oh, yes--it would be finer than fine on a BLAT.

Phoo-D--Yep, bacon jam can be yours in just a few hours.

Julia--I'd use chicken stock.

Chiara--If he loves bacon, he should love this!

Mary--Tomato jam with bacon jam sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

Tanenblatt--Thanks for noticing--the recipe has been updated.

Fast cooker--Most canned chipotles have adobo sauce in the can. You'll find those at Mexican markets if your regular grocer doesn't sell them.

Catererpaul--I know people who still keep their bacon drippings on the stove.

CowboyCooler--That would be an amazing breakfast!

SRBeack--Yes, I saw his recipe but it used lots of brown sugar and he pureed it until it was more a syrup than a "jam."

CowboyCooler--A sliver is a slice that is the length of the onion and about 1/4 inch wide.

Kay said...

How do you grind your Mexican hot chocolate? In a clean coffee bean grinder?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Kay--I just rub the disk against my cheese grater.

Annie Nielsen said...

OMG...excuse me while I run to the market and get some bacon....

Anonymous said...

Lisa,

Would it be possible to simmer the jam in crockpot instead of the stovetop.

Heather M. said...

Oh my gosh this is pure genius! I cannot wait to try it.

Beccascope said...

Hi there! Can't wait to make this!
How long do you suppose it would last if I refridgerated it and kept it in a mason jar?

Angelique from Bitchin' Lifestyle said...

Oh. My. God.

I did not know such greatness existed! My Boyfriend (an avid bacon lover) will LOVE this. I must say I enjoy the sweet/salty taste of bacon chocolate and cannnooot wait to try this!

THANK U

P.S I am not familiar with adobo sauce... what is it?

GuerillaDust said...

I think I just found a new favorite blog. I'm totally not Texan, but the recipes sound good.

Zarah Maria said...

I know I'm a repeater but: Oh. My. Gawd. How can you DO this to a pregnant woman?!? (with no bacon in the house OR chipotles in adobo in the vicinity) I'm weeping! ;)

annie said...

Call me crazy, but I see this in a sandwich with chunky peanut butter on whole grain bread. Thanks for an inspirational post!

Andy said...

Well, certainly a first for me! Interesting concept though!!!

Andrew

eonyc said...

I just heard about bacon jam on Top Chef 2 weeks ago. Serendipity reigns again!!!!

Meagan said...

I can't believe it I think you came up with a bacon concoction that will surprise even the most fanatical of my bacon loving compadres.
It is all about the bacon out here in SF. Someone actually tried hot bacon grease and garlic on popcorn the other night(it got a big thumbs up).
I see your biscuit audition went well she is a beauty!
I can't wait to try this gracias!

Kevin said...

Bacon jam sounds so good!

Cesar said...

At first, the sound of this sounded just ok. But after seeing the ingredients that go into this, I will definitely try this.

Kathie said...

I just made this today and it is wonderful! Looking forward to using it tomorrow morning on egg breakfast sandwich!

ToyLady said...

I saw this post last week, and I came home and told my husband, "I found this awesome-looking recipe today for . . . "

HE said "Dear, you have a problem. You need to stop this."

And I said "On no, you did NOT just say that!"

To be fair, he hasn't been feeling well. But STILL.

So I made it Saturday (with a couple of tweeks) - um, YUM.

I even shared it with hubby. (After I tormented him a little first.)

Thanks, Lisa.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Annie--You're excused!

Anon--I'm sure it would, though I don't one so I can't give you specific directions on how to do it.

Heather--Enjoy!

Beccascope--I think it would keep for a month or so. You can freeze extra portions as well.

Angelique--Adobo sauce is the sauce that comes in a can of chipotle chiles. It's made like chipotle ketchup.

GuerillaDust--Aw, thank you!

Zarah Maria--Oh, no! That's a situation that must be soon remedied!

Annie--Yep, it's awesome with peanut butter!

Andy--Thank you!

Eonyc--Yes indeed! His was more like a sweet syrup, though. This is much more savory.

Meagan--Oh! Bacon grease and garlic on popcorn? Yes, please!

Kevin--Thanks!

Cesar--The ingredients are some of my favorite flavors. Glad you agree!

ToyLady--Yay! I'm so glad y'all like it!

norcaldutchovendave said...

Lisa,
Fantastic blog! i'm posting a link in my blog, castironitis, a Dutch oven cooking blog. Your jam recipe is to die for! I made a batch last night using bacon ends and pieces and was devine! It didnt last at all. I love heat and added a little bhut powder to kick up the heat mmmmmmm. last night i made a batch of guacamole and put in a Tablespoon of the bacon jam and it was out of this world! the jam sounds like it would make a great bacon ranch type of salad dressing or dip. I also smoke and bbq and am thinkin' using my own bacon and home smoked chipotles!
Dave

Justin from Bitchin' Lifestyle said...

For a guy that loves bacon as much as me, it's amazing to find even myself surprised by how many things find themselves fused with bacon these days. I've been fed bacon and apple pie, drank bacon vodka, and now will inevitably find myself trying to make bacon jam. After all, it's bacon! I'd be crazy not to.

Tommy said...

I made this over the weekend and found it easy to prepare. You don't really mention heat in the post other than the chipotles would contribute a smoky heat.

I found the jam to be fiery hot to the point that only serious spicy food eaters would enjoy. I used 3 chipotles and the recipe turned out ass burning hot. Maybe sometime in the fridge will mellow it, but god was it ever spicy.

Call me a wimp .I used Herdez brand chipotles and I cannot recall them ever being so fiery.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Dave--Brilliant use for the bacon jam--I'm definitely trying that tonight!

Justin--I know, bacon is definitely everywhere. But I thought this was a fun thing to make.

Tommy--I'm SO SORRY it was too hot for you! I tend to forget that not everyone has the tolerance for hot chiles that I do. I'll make a note of it on the recipe.

Catherine said...

I recently heard of bacon jam for the first time on Top Chef. I'll have to give this a try. It's bacon for goodness sake, it's gotta be good!

Bren said...

girl, Emeril would love you for this. RIght up his alley. I'd have to pass since I don't do swine, but I have to admit it sounds quite interesting! :) Hope you've been well!

Cate O'Malley said...

omg, are you kidding me with this? I think I know what I'm making this weekend... evil.

Annie Nielsen said...

Made the bacon jam this past weekend. I'm a lightweight with the heat, so I only used 2 chipotle peppers. I did add 2TB of brown sugar, so that there would a salty/sweet balance and to round out the spicey-ness. Now, I'm waiting for a really cool day to make biscuits for this lovely treat.

Southern Grace Gourmet said...

I have never heard of this, but it looks amazing!

ToyLady said...

OK, I just want to add this:

peanut butter and bacon jam sandwich.

Seriously good stuff.

Helen said...

Love it love it love it. I just made David Lebovitz's candied bacon ice cream which was amazing! Can't beat a bit of porky sweetness.

Amy Evans Streeter said...

Oh, yeah, you did!

Underground Dining said...

Oooo...I just went to a BLT party 2 Saturdays ago-- they had bacon infused bourbon old fashioneds, bacon popcorn, bacon...but no bacon jam!! Good call-- I will make sure to bring that next time!

Noodlegirl said...

yummy! I am not surprised at the combination I make spam, eggs with mayo and peanutbutter sandich sounds gross but so delicious

Melanie said...

hmmmm does it have to be Mexican hot chocolate? Not sure where to get that. But this sounds mighty tasty.

By the way....have you had the country fried bacon at the State Fair??? I'm going this year and can't wait to try it! Two of my favorite things....now if they have cream gravy to dip it in.....heaven

red ticking said...

THIS IS AMAZING... i seriously love your blog... i am all about vintage home interior but a serious foodie... i will love following your blog... yummie x pam

BlackRabbit said...

So assuming that it's actually possible not to eat the whole jar in one sitting, I have two questions:

1. Does the jar need to be sterilized or is a hot dishwasher enough?
2. How long does it keep in the fridge?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

BlackRabbit--A hot dishwasher is good enough, and I reckon it keeps for a month in the fridge. You can certainly freeze it, however, if you wish to keep it longer.

The Epicurean Pig said...

Love the recipe. I'm curious if after you get the jam in the jar, do you need to use a pressure canner? Or do you normally just refrigerate and then eat it within a week? Thanks for the info and great site.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Epicurean Pig--I did not pressure can mine, just kept it refrigerated and ate it up in a few weeks. One reader freezed hers.

Anonymous said...

Is the Mexican hot chocolate sweetened? And by hot, you mean it has some spice in it? Just want to get it right. I love your blog, BTW. I am a homesick Texan in NY and your Blog makes my day!!
Muchos Gracias Shug

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Shug--Yes, it's sweet and hot refers to the temperature not spice.

Matt said...

I have a friend who saw bacon jam and exclaimed "Hey! I know what to do; I'll spread that on my bacon!"

Thanks for posting the recipe, I linked it from our blog foodnuts.com and all my compadres are dying to have us try it out.

roxannepackard said...

Awesome! Can you post a recipe that isn't chipotle?
Thanks for sharing this!

amanda said...

Lisa, Assuming I want to give this as a gift, how many pints would this make and do you think it is possible to process it so it doesn't need to go in the refrigerator immediately?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Amanda--It makes a little over one pint. And you'd have to use a pressure cooker to process it so it wouldn't need to be refrigerated. And I don't know how to do that, unfortunately!

Anonymous said...

Gee, what would this be good with? How 'bout...EVERYTHING!!

to Amanda: you can get tiny canning jars, they are 4 oz, I use them for "sampler" size jams, an easy way to extend the bounty.

THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE!!

Jeremy said...

Just read it...currently making it. This smells amazing. My bacon-loving buddies are going to FLIP when they taste this! Thanks for the sharing the love.

Dawn said...

Ooh mama. I made this yesterday with only one tweak - instead of mexican chocolate, used a square and a half of dark chocolate and a dash of cinnamon. Came out DIVINE. I used extra thick applewood smoked bacon [nothing fancy - Oscar Mayer, i think] and super slow cooked it, rendering out as much fat as i could. I want to use that bacony goodness in my next batch of tamales. The bacon stayed nice and chunky, even after a few whirls in the food processor. I worship all your recipes, woman. Live and die by your carnitas recipe. Thank you for sharing!

Jessica "Su Good Sweets" said...

Made this today and it tastes like barbecue bacon chile. Not what I was expecting but I can't stop stealing spoonfuls. I added a couple teaspoons maple syrup and cooked the whole thing in a Dutch oven. So the coffee/vinegar deglazed the yum yums!

Kate said...

I just tried this over the weekend and it was really great. I blogged about it on my site: http://domestikating.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/bacon-fest-2010-bacon-jam/

Thanks for the inspiration!

Kristin said...

Hi Lisa, I am planning on making your recipe, but was hoping you could give some insight as to shelf life and the potential use of a pressure cooker to prolong shelf life. Thanks! Kristin.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Kristin--it should last a couple of months refrigerated. I don't know how to use a pressure cooker to process meat, so I can't help you with that, sorry!

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight with just two chipotles - it's PLENTY spicy, and I like spicy! Delicious, though, and a nice change from all the recipes that call for a ton of sugar. I made it completely low-carb by using cocoa powder and a bit of Splenda instead of the chocolate. Thanks!

Charmaine @ Speakeasy Kitchen said...

Excellent! Good to know this will last some time in the fridge. Otherwise, I might be tempted to eat it all up in one or two sittings. Well, I might be tempted anyway...

Anonymous said...

How about using Agave Necter instead of sugar or syrup. Please comment.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--I've never tried it with agave nectar but I'm sure it would be fine.

Anonymous said...

This sounds delish! I'm thinking about making a batch to can for gifts... I know there are comments regarding pressure canning. Can this be processed in a water bath canning style? how long?
Thanks!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--You can't process this in a water-bath, and I do not know how to can meat in a pressure cooker either. If you give it as gifts, the best bet is to give it to them refrigerated.

2 Sticks of Butter said...

How long are you supposed to cook the bacon, y'all?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

2 sticks of butter--until it's crisp, perhaps 10 minutes or so.

Shannon said...

I had heard of bacon jam coming from some restaurant featured on the food network and thought hmmm yeah not gonna buy that online. When I read this recipe I said to myself now this is something I can do.
Can I just say that this is the most aaaamazing jam ever! I took it on a camping trip to spread on burgers and maybe a biscuit or two. It was such a hit it was put on grilled steak, breakfast burritos, chips, burgers, biscuits, eggs, potatoes and eaten out of the container with a fork. We live by the rule that bacon makes everything better and this recipe is no exception - thanks for the posting it was awesome!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Of All the people to make a bacon jam recipe you are the first person to specify 1 cup of brewed coffee.....

Thank the lord we might have a recipe writer here.

1 cup coffee
1 cup of coffee after 1/2 cup sugar : 1/2 cup of sugar

Really has a tendency to throw people off. Needless to say my first batch with one cup of ground coffee was a bit strong...

Brady.Soulful.Creations said...

I have came up with my own recipe over the years and love it. However, giving props, this is a good sounding one too!

callimae said...

Hey there,

Just came across your post and I cannot wait to try this recipe. I'm a bacon fiend and am notorious for my dark chocolate bacon cupcakes. Looking forward to adding something new to the bacon repertoire. I'm just curious how much this recipe makes. Also, you mention the difficulty in preserving the jars with a canner but have you ever tried to freeze it? Just curious if it defrosts well as I'm contemplating making some for wedding favors!

Thanks so much :)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Callimae--I've never frozen it, so you might experiment with how it defrosts before giving it as favors. I think it would be okay, though.

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