Whisky Bacon Jam

by TRH on December 11, 2014

in Cooking & Recipes

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Bacon Jam. I had my doubts at first. I figured it was another one of those terrible bacon fad dishes of the recent craze. How wrong I was. The combo of sweet, smoky, salty and spicy is just phenomenal and it makes for a serious attention grabber at a dinner party or potluck. Serve it with fresh toasted slices of baguette and watch your guests go back for seconds… and thirds. Other serving suggestions might include using it as a topping for baked brie, serving it on slices of sharp cheddar or even pairing with fruit.
I originally found this recipe somewhere on the web but I’m ashamed to say I’ve lost the link. I’ve since altered it to better suit my personal tastes but if I figure out where I originally found it I will add a link later.

The key to this one is to not skimp on the bacon quality. Don’t make this with mass market water injected paper thin bacon. Hit up a proper butcher and get something they cured themselves and cut thick, or better yet use some bacon you made yourself. On this batch I grabbed some bacon from Miller’s as I simply didn’t have time to get over to Cantor’s and I’m all out of my own stuff (sadly the smoker is likely staying packed away til spring at this point.) Whisky wise you don’t have to go crazy. I polished off a bottle of jim beam for this batch and I do generally go for bourbon but a friend made a great batch with a mid shelf Canadian rye as well.

Here’s the link to the WIKI version of the recipe or continue below.

Yield
A little under 2 cups depending on how fatty your bacon is.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. thick cut or slab bacon
  • 1 Large Diced Yellow Onion or Vidalia if you can get them. Adjust as you wish for how onion-y you want the final product to be. Start with this your first time.
  • 1 TBSP Pureed Chipotle in Adobo (IF you’re like me you have little containers of this frozen in your freezer, replace with hotsauce if you must)
  • 1/2 Cup of Whiskey – I generally use bourbon of a decent but not extreme quality
  • 1/2 Cup of Coffee – hot and strong
  • 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup or Golden Syrup – Personally I prefer the added layer of flavour of the maple
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Minced Garlic
  • 4 TBSP Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper (Optional, I sometimes grind some black pepper in to up the spicyness a bit.)
  • 2 TBSP Tamarind Paste (Optional but it’s another interesting layer of flavour)

 

Method

  • Thick slice your bacon if it’s a slab then cut/snip your bacon into managable pieces. I generally just make squares and cook it until it’s mostly cooked but still a little floppy.
  • Remove the bacon and drain the fat leaving about one or two TBSP behind

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  • With the heat on fairly low add your onion and get it sweating a bit before adding the brown sugar and stirring vigorously.
  • Cook for about fifteen minutes or until fairly caramelized before you add the garlic and chipotle.

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  • Cook for a minute or two to get the garlic fragrant, add your spices and mix again bringing out the spice into the grease and cook for another couple minutes.
  • Add the bacon and combine thoroughly before adding the syrup, vinegar, coffee and whisky

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  • Raise the heat to medium high and get the whole mixture to a boil stirring fairly regularly.
  • Once it’s well combined reduce the heat to low and leave it to simmer slow. Give it a quick stir every 15 minutes or so and add a bit of liquid (water/coffee) if it seems to be getting too dry.
  • Cook for 90 to 120 minutes (until it’s moist and sticky but there isn’t really any liquid left)
  • Pulse quickly in a food processor/mini chopper. I like it very meaty so I only pulse enough to get everything sort of uniform in texture. If you want it more spreadable feel free to pulse longer.
  • As mentioned I generally just serve this on fresh or lightly toasted baguette slices.

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