This bacon jam recipe is one of THE best things I've ever eaten. Sweet, salty and savory and a great gift!
Men. Can't live with 'em, or something like that! But really, I have the hardest time finding good gifts like this bacon jam 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.
This year, I lucked out and found some awesome Star Wars 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!
So, in addition to the ornaments, I decided to make another gift, 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 a similar jam, but it's SO expensive, upwards of $20 per tiny jar.
This jam recipe 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.
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.
Can you can bacon jam?
I absolutely hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no, you cannot safely can bacon jam.
I tried to can the first batch I made, and opened it after 3 months. The smell was off, so I threw it out. It turns out that it's very likely bacteria will grow for this type of meat marmalade. And, there are several recipes out there that say you are able to this jam safely, so be cautious, friends! We don't want to get ourselves or others sick.
After doing a bit more research, I learned that the best way to store bacon jam is to freeze it.
Just leave a bit of head room in your freezer safe jar. When you're ready to use it, thaw the bacon jam and then you can store it in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
How to use this Bacon Jam Recipe
Bacon Jam is incredibly versatile and can be used in several ways! Use it:
- On top of brie or soft cheese
- On baked potatoes
- As a sandwich spread
- On top of your favorite grilled protein
- 2 pounds bacon, raw, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- ½ 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 cut into small bits.
- 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 ½ 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.