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This bacon jam recipe is one of THE best things I’ve ever eaten. Sweet, salty and savory. Spread on sandwiches or crostinis, or mix into pasta. Top baked potatoes, quiche or grilled meat. So versatile, and best when just slightly warmed up!
Men. Can’t live with ’em, or something like that! But really, I have the hardest time finding good gifts for the important men in my life. And there are a lot of them. My husband and son are relatively easy because I’m so tuned into their interests and needs. But once you get beyond those two, I’m hopeless! My four teenage nephews, brother and brother-in-law, Dad, father-in-law, and the 90% of my coworkers who are men are incredibly hard to gift. My female coworkers? Easy. Sisters and Mom? So easy. Gifts for men are the hardest part of the holiday season for me. This year, I’m determined to get the guys in my life gifts they’ll actually love, like this bacon jam recipe.
(Oh hey, Mr. Stormtrooper! Fancy seeing you here).
I headed to my local Walmart to get some ideas, and luckily, found them. This year’s Hallmark ornaments are crazy good. They have Star Wars, The Walking Dead, and all manners of superhero and popular movie related ornaments. I picked up a few traditional boxed Star Wars ornaments (and an Elmo ornament for my son, he insisted). I found the boxed ornaments towards the front of the store, near the Christmas decorations. Also, when I wandered towards the cards section, I found some super cute plastic Star Wars ornaments with Santa hats on. Had to get those, too, and they were very inexpensive. There’s something satisfying about seeing Darth Vader wear a Santa hat.
I was so excited that I found these awesome ornaments for the guys in my life. But, they say a man’s heart is through is stomach, and I’ve always believed that to be true! I decided to make something I’ve only ever bought, Bacon Jam. What is Bacon Jam, you say? It’s a sweet and salty relish that you can use as a topping or spread on any number of things: toast or crostinis, baked cheese, turkey sandwiches, baked potatoes, or quiche. A local company makes amazing Bacon Jam, but it’s SO expensive, upwards of $20 per tiny jar. Bacon jam does require a TON of bacon to be used, so it’s one of those things that really pays off to make at home. And, I am not exaggerating when I say that this particular bacon jam recipes is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Seriously. No lies.
I packaged this jam in half pint jars. You can attach super simple chalkboard labels and write on them white paint pen. Add some decorative twine or a festive holiday ribbon, and you’re good to go! It was super simple to get these little jars of bacon goodness ready for gift giving.
So to recap, the men in my life are getting pretty awesome gifts this year! What are you getting the men in your life this year? I’d love to hear your ideas!
- 2 pounds bacon, raw, chopped
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Add chopped bacon to a large pot (I used a dutch oven). Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the bacon starts to get crispy, and the fat is foaming.
- Drain bacon using a colander placed over a bowl. Save the drained fat.
- Add 2 tsp of bacon fat and butter to pot and return to medium heat. Add onion and salt, then saute for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- While onions saute, add cooled bacon to a cutting board, and run through with a chef's knife to reduce the size even further.
- To onion mixture, add brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, dried thyme, black pepper and pinch of cayenne. Add bacon back in to pot and stir.
- Add water and cook for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is "brick-brown" in color and thick.
- Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar, stir well.
- This is best served slightly warm.
- This recipe yields 1.5 pints. I recommend packaging in small half pint jars.
- If the jam seems dry after all steps are completed, add another 1/2 cup of water and continue to simmer. It should have the consistency of a relish when all is said and done. It won't be thick like a grape jam, but should certainly have some liquid to it.