On Saturday night, on tv, Jonathan Ross mentioned that a London shop is now selling bacon jam. Bacon jam has been the food blogging sensation of the last couple of years, it’s taken off and trended and become the biggest thing since, well, sliced bread.
I first came across the recipe in Australia, in a magazine in Melbourne whilst waiting for a train, last year and I scrawled the recipe down somewhere to use when I got home, except I’ve been through my bag of things that I still haven’t officially unpacked many times and there’s no sign of the recipe which is sad. I got this recipe, below, from a variety of different blogs on the internet, most specifically that of Eat Like A Girl, a great food blog written by an Irish girl living in London who has just published a book called Comfort and Spice, available at Amazon. The Australian version was far fruitier and contained fruit juice so if I ever find it, I shall make it also and compare.
I made this a couple of weeks ago and have since forced it on many family and friends who have all responded with fear and apprehension but then loved it when they’ve tasted it. It is odd. There’s no other word for it. I suppose it’s more of a relish than a jam but bacon jam has quite an exciting sound to it and it’s a product they’ve been selling in America for a long time! Since last weekend, my friend Rachel has been demanding the recipe for this and I’ve been waiting as I didn’t want to give you yet another jam recipe but it’s very different so I think it’s ok!
Apparently, reading around the subject, it was Martha Stewart who introduced the element of brewed coffee to the mixture and a London company who have started selling it are including whisky in their mix. I think the most important aspects are the vinegar and the maple syrup, personally and I would probably reduce the amount of garlic when I make it again. I can’t drink coffee anymore, yes very sad, but I included the coffee in this as I felt that the caffeine wouldn’t have much of an effect after cooking with bacon for an hour, but if you were worried about this aspect, I think you could probably use bovril pr something stockish or perhaps something like Coca Cola but remove a bit of sugar in that case. I think the coffee, which is the part I was the most concerned about, adds a savoury aspect so I do think Coke might be a bit sweet but I also saw a version that used apple juice so perhaps sweet is the way to go!
Anyway, it’s delicious, very crunchy and completely addictive. I think I might have eaten a little too much of it recently but I have had to try it with different things. I can recommend toasted sourdough, boiled eggs, cheese and onion bread and I can imagine it would work well with cheese scones and lovely in a fresh cheese and onion tart. Go wild with it. It is, after all, National Bacon Day!!
makes about 2 jars
- 500g streaky smoked bacon chopped into small chunks
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 50g brown sugar
- 50ml maple syrup
- 50ml cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 250ml fresh brewed coffee, cafetiere coffee not instant!
- 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
- Fry the bacon in a casserole dish, thick heavy bottomed pan, etc, until the bacon is brown and crispy but not overly crunchy.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and add the onions. Cook until translucent and then add the garlic for a minute or two until lightly cooked but not coloured.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and the bacon back to the pan and simmer over a low heat for an hour or until the jam is thick and unwielding.
- Some people disagree at this stage but I then added mine to the food processor. I recommend this step because it makes it crunchier as you end up with more jaggedy edges!
- You can then pop it in jars and keep it for a month in the fridge. Mine is about a week and a half old now and it’s getting stronger all the time.
And now, I shall share with you my breakfast from yesterday. The newspapers, a soft boiled egg, crunchy sourdough soldiers with salty butter and bacon jam…