I'm always a bit of a sucker for chutneys, preserves and pickles, or in fact almost anything that comes in a jar, and last week I stumbled across something labelled 'Bacon Jam'. Amazingly I hadn't come across this concept before, which is strange given my love of piggy products and...well jam...
I bought it out of curiosity and it was certainly nice but not really to my taste - not sweet enough, or bacony enough for that matter - so I decided I should make make my own. I came across a few recipes floating around the internet but none that really suited what I wanted to do so I decided to start pretty much from scratch, using a caramelised onion base.
One or two recipes I came across mentioned adding coffee or spirits but neither appealed to me, although the idea of using a bitterish chocolate to contrast the sweetness did and and that combined with the need for a cooking liquor meant a good stout came to mind - hence my use of Dungarvan's Black Rock. Along with O'Hara's stouts, I've always had a soft spot for this beer. It's full bodied and has the cocoa flavour I wanted to add so it seemed to make sense.
Many recipes suggest sliced bacon, chopped and fried but I want a more shredded texture, hence my use of a piece of streaky bacon, slow cooked. Go for good bacon, I use a local craft butcher for most of my meats as they seem to have the quality right. (Having said that use whoever you like, 'craft' doesn't always been quality as we know, and it's getting to be a word that's a little over used these days.)
So, here we go!
1 kg Streaky Bacon - unsliced
1/4 cup Chorizo - finely chopped
2 large Onions - finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic - minced
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Honey
1 cup Dungarvan Black Rock Stout
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/4 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
Salt to taste
- Simmer the bacon for 30 mins in a saucepan and then roast on a rack in the oven at 150C for 90 mins. When cooked leave aside under tinfoil to rest and cool a little
- Fry chorizo in a large saucepan until a little crispy then remove - leaving the fat in the pan - and set aside
- Fry onions on medium-low in the chorizo fat until softened but not brown, add garlic for the last couple of mins
- Deglaze the saucepan with the stout, add all of the other ingredients and simmer for 20 mins
- Shred and chop the bacon removing as much fat as possible
- Add bacon and chorizo to the saucepan and mix well (now is the time to adjust any of the spices to suit your taste), reduce to a dryish consistency - stirring constantly near the end - until most of the liquid has boiled off
- Allow to cool then pulse in a food processor to the desired texture but not too fine
- The jam should keep for a couple of weeks (If it lasts that long!) in jars in the fridge but use common sense when storing
I love it, it's probably one of the best things I've made recently. It's great just spread on crackers or toast, and works well with most cheeses, especially goat's or a strong cheddar. Nice on burgers or on hot dogs too, or great spread on bread with good bangers for the ultimate sausage butty! I think it might be nice with chocolate too but haven't experiment yet...
Pairs up well with good stouts like Dungarvan and also with sweet Belgian-style tripels or malty red ales.
Adapt as you wish but give me a little credit if reposting!