Friday, January 13, 2012

Recipe: Bacon-Onion Jam (Updated / Final)

Laptop is still sick. It's home now - but I have to shop for a new one - so I'm gonna minimize my "futzing around" with pictures for the time-being.

I'll post the "Illustrated Guide" to Bacon-Onion-Jam-Making (and the "Baptism" of my Brandy-New Pressure Cooker!) in a later post...

For now, I wanted to post the "adjusted" version of my Bacon Onion Jam Recipe (before I misplace my notes!!!). And please excuse the weird background colors, I copied/pasted from the original recipe and I can't figure out how to nuke the color w/o spending waaaaay too much time editing html)

This is what I Actually Did:

QT's Bacon Onion Jam (Final)

Yield: 4 and 3/4 (almost 5) half-pint jars

  • 1 lb Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • 7 Medium Onions, sliced thinly (I mixed up yellow and red - but it really didn't make any difference!)
  • 4-5 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbs Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup fresh brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup Dried Currants
  • 1/4 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Maple Syrup (I ran out of syrup! So I supplemented with:)
  • 1/8 cup mild Agave Nectar (or Honey would work)
  • 1-2 tsp+ Smoked Paprika, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste (optional - I didn't add any)


  1. In a large, heavy pot, fry the bacon 'til brown and barely crispy. Set aside on paper towels to drain and cool. Reserve the bacon grease.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in appx half of the bacon grease (add more, if needed). Cook, over medium heat, until it starts to limpify - appx 10 mins.
  3. Add Brown Sugar and a sprinkling of salt. Turn heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally until translucent, appx 15 mins.
  4. Chop the bacon into 1/4-1/2" chunks (the first attempt: I did 1/4" x 1" strips and they were too big)
  5. Put the bacon back in the pan and add coffee, currants/raisins, vinegars and syrups. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then immediately turn down to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally (to prevent sticking). Add water, if needed (I didn't need it).
  7. Keep cooking 'til the mixture is a rich, deep brown and you can no longer distinguish the bacon from the onion (that never happened - the bacon was always "distinguishable" so I recommend chopping it into smaller chunks to begin with). It should have a thick, jam-like consistency.
  8. Let cool for 20 minutes. If desired, run thru a food processor to finely chop and blend the jam. Food processor/chopping wasn't necessary (the onion got pretty-well obliterated with all the cooking!) (but start out with smaller bacon chunks).
  9. Return to the pot. Cover and refrigerate, overnight.
  10. The next day, remove the majority of the (now solidified) fat from the top of the jam. Use a teaspoon and scrape off all the white fat from the top. Dig down a little, under the top layer, because there's more congealed fat hiding just under the surface. It's not necessary to remove ALL of it, but get as much as you can!
  11. Turn heat to low and add salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Cook on medium-high heat, bring it to a boil and immediately turn down to "simmer" until most of the liquid is evaporated.
  12. Check for "set" (grab a spoonful and put it in the fridge for 5 minutes. Hold the spoon vertically - if the jam doesn't drip off, it's "set").
  13. Transfer jam to sterilized jars and process in a pressure canner @ 15 lbs for 10 minutes (I actually think 10 lbs for 15 mins might be a bit better for the final jam's consistency).
Additional Notes: 8 onions was waaaaaay too much for my Big Ol' Dutch Oven (I think it's a 3-1/2 qt - It would hold a gallon of liquid, if you filled it to the brim). The total quantity cooked down a LOT though.

Okay, I think that's it! The jam tastes positively PHENOMENAL!!! I could eat it straight out of the jar (but it's soooo much better on sourdough!)

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