When my neighbor Erin asked what she could bring to the New Years brunch, I replied, “Meat!” I was thinking she might bring some appetizers that had sausage in them, or perhaps pigs in a blanket. However, she took it quite literally. She brought me a package of raw Oscar Mayer Bacon, and we never actually found the time to cook it. So now, I’m left with all of this bacon to eat by myself. Therefore, I’m going to make some Bacon Jam.
In addition to the meat, we also have plenty of coffee leftover. And thus, I’m going to make Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker Bacon Jam, which actually has both ingredients.
First of all, you should know. This is probably my first time making bacon. Ever. As you know, I’m married to a vegetarian so I never cook meat. Seems like Julius is REALLY interested. Poor guy has never known the wonder that is frying bacon!
Precautionary measures. I am so nervous I am going to burn the house down.
I mean, since I can’t even get the package open correctly…
…slicing the entire pound still in its package, so as not to contaminate the cutting boards.
FYI, if you’re totally clueless like me – this is how you cook bacon. First, you just shove the whole thing in a dry skillet…
…no oil/butter/nonstick surface necessary. Just let it fry in its own fat.
About 10 minutes on medium high, you get crispy bacon! Drain it on a plate lined with paper towels…
…and save that leftover grease because it is gold for cooking. I’m more than happy to take your suggestions for what to do with this little jar. It is now sitting in my fridge, wondering exactly what in the world it is doing in there, surrounded by miso paste and Ume Plum Vinegar.
Chop up 2 red onions (you can also use a white onion, I’m sure)…
…and sautee for about 5-7 minutes with garlic in the residual bacon drippings.
When those are translucent, add 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 3/4 cups coffee, and 1/2 cup brown sugar (I dissolve it in the brew)…
…plus, about 1/4 cup honey.
Next, bring the whole thing to a boil. There are all these porky brown bits at the bottom and you will want to use a spoon to scrape those up, because that is where a lot of the flavor actually is.
Now, add the guest of honor (the bacon) back in, and remove the pan from the heat…
…then transfer to a crock pot.
Let it cook on high – uncovered – for 3.5 to 4 hours or so while you go about your business. When I return from running errands, the house smells heavenly. (Well, Abe probably wouldn’t think so.)
Finally, puree the mixture in a blender until it is smooth.
I am going to put aside a few jars as gifts for my fellow meat-eaters. This will probably keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Right now, I am enjoying a taste test with my homemade pita chips.
I apologize to my vegan readers. Because seriously, this stuff is incredible. It’s salty and sweet, full of complex flavor from both the coffee and the bacon. Life in the Chenwald household will never be the same again. It’s also great in sandwiches and as a general flavor enhancer.
- 1 pound of bacon
- 2 red onions
- Heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- Slice the bacon and place in a skillet. Fry for 10-15 minutes until brown and crispy over medium high heat. Place the meat on a plate lined with paper towels. Drain the fat.
- Chop up two red onions and sautee for about 5-7 minutes with garlic in the residual bacon drippings.
- When those are translucent, add 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 3/4 cups coffee, 1/2 cup brown sugar (I dissolved it in the brew) and about 1/4 cup honey.
- Bring the whole thing to a boil, using a spoon to scrape up all the browned up bits, then add the bacon, remove from heat, and transfer to a crock pot.
- Let it cook on high - uncovered - for 3.5 - 4 hours. Puree in a blender till smooth. Let cool before canning.