How to make Bacon Jam

You do know that bacon jam recipe if you have been around here for a while. Many people are familiar with it now, but I was the first in the UK to share a recipe for it before there was ever any on the shelves.

But it did not start with me, it started in the US.

bacon jam in a jar next to bacon jam on toast

The excitement about it in the US had not escaped my attention. I was intrigued. At the time I had some money stuck in my PayPal account that I could not transfer out (this is very much back in the day, when things were not as straightforward as now). So, I ordered bacon jam from California with it because why not? It arrived in the post several weeks later.

I pried it out of the box and had to try it immediately, there at my desk. It was surprising and intense and delicious. My work colleagues were at once shocked and reticent, and then obsessed. I had to try and make my own. Which I did promptly.

I was delighted with the results and started to look at bacon differently. I started to see all of the possibilities that it had across the flavour spectrum. Eventually, all of that excitement and play resulted in recipes like candied bacon fudge and toffee, bacon masterclasses, bacon brunch club and lots of more regular and exciting savoury recipes that became Bacon the Cookbook.

I have been asked for the bacon jam recipe many times, and while it is in Bacon the Cookbook (which is available as both hardback (for sale on Amazon.co.uk where it is currently on sale for £11), signed copies from me) and ebook (on Kindle UK, on Kindle US), along with sibling recipes chipotle bacon jam, stout & treacle bacon jam and gochujang & cider bacon jam, I want to share it again with you here. You deserve it!

I haven’t been posting here lately but I am planning to make time to keep this little nook vibrant and alive. Don’t forget the enormous recipe archive. I moved hosts and a lot of the photos were unfortunately lost in the transition and my previous host deleted their copies. Never mind, the recipes are still valid and well worth your time. I will replace the photos as and when I can.

Photos by Georgia Glynn Smith for Bacon the Cookbook

bacon jam in a jar next to bacon jam on toast

Bacon Jam

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

It's called bacon *jam* but think more along the lines of your new favourite relish.

A little sweet, a little tangy, intensely savoury and tasting of more, more, MORE. Always make extra is my advice.

I like to serve bacon jam with cheesy potato skins, sour cream and chives, with cheeses, as condiment at a bbq. I pair bacon jam with scallops in a recipe in my book Bacon the Cookbook. Surf and turf as you never imagined it and it is so good!

This keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week (but it’s so divine it will disappear well before then).Jar sizes are approximate as the volume rendered will depend on how fatty the bacon is etc.

Ingredients

  • 500 g smoked streaky bacon finely sliced
  • 1 red onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 50 g brown sugar soft brown or Demerara, not dark brown
  • 50 ml maple syrup
  • 50 ml cider vinegar
  • 250 ml fresh brewed coffee you can substitute instant if that is what you prefer

Instructions

    1. Sauté the bacon over a medium heat in a wide pot until starting to crisp and the fat starts to render out. Remove the bacon to a plate on the side.
    2. Fry the onion in the rendered bacon fat until starting to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the fried bacon to the onion and garlic with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low.
    3. Don’t put a lid on the pan. Let it cook gently, stirring occasionally. The sugars will caramelise, so you want to make sure they don’t catch the bacon at the base of the pan and burn. If it looks like it is getting dry, add a little boiling water from the kettle, and continue to do this until you don’t need to anymore because you have a very tasty, shiny bacon jam.
    4. At this point you may want to blend the jam or you may want to keep it as it is. That is entirely up to you. This keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week (but it’s so divine it will disappear well before then).

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Written by Niamh
Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.