I was recently introduced to a wonderful, mind exploding, taste bud jumping condiment – bacon jam.
Yup. Bacon. Jam. It’s how it sounds too – completely awesome.
It was served up as part of a dish at the East versus West: Food and Beer Title Fight, Round 2 at Five Bar as part of WA Beer Week. As the name suggests it’s the follow up to the very popular event that happened during Melbourne’s Good Beer Week at Josie Bones.
I messaged my partner who immediately looked up a recipe, finding this one on www.allrecipes.com and despite the lengthy list of ingredients it sounded pretty do-able. It also sounded like my heart would clog up and stop but hey, life is full of risks.
There were a few adaptions I made to the recipe because a) I wanted to put beer in it b) we didn’t have any whiskey in the house and c) we only have coffee pods at the house. The result was not subtle, packed with big flavours and a nice kick of heat that sits at the back of your throat; sweet plays off spice and the fatty salty bacon brings it all together.1/2 kilo of diced bacon 1 large brown onion, cut in half and sliced very thinly 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/8 cup minced fresh garlic 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 espresso from a single coffee pod 1 cup Burleigh Brewing Black Giraffe Black Coffee Lager, or another beer with big coffee notes 1/4 cup sherry vinegar 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- Throw bacon into large saucepan, no oil required. Keep on medium high heat and stir until starting to brown. Your bacon should now be swimming happily in about 1/4 cup of bacon fat;
- Add onion and brown sugar, stir and cook for five minutes;
- Add cayenne pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for five minutes;
- Add coffee, beer, sherry vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to the boil then reduced heat to low and cook until mixture thickens up but not too much, you don’t want it to be dry. This should take about 30-40 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and let simmer further for five minutes;
- Remove from heat and allow to cool, keep stored in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Note: you can throw the mixture into a food processor to get a chunky but still spreadable consistency if you like otherwise I just broke up the larger pieces of bacon as it was simmering. I used very cheap bacon for this recipe with plenty of fatty bits to contribute to the final result.
Now, all you have to do is sit and ponder the possibilities – burgers, eggs on toast, crackers, cheese …