BACON JAM RECIPE (one of many variations)
• 3 pounds bacon
• 4 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
• 8 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat side of a knife or a pan and peeled
• 1 cup cider vinegar
• 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 1/2 cups very strong brewed black coffee
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the bacon slices into one inch strips. Add the bacon to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until the bacon is browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings into a heat-proof jar with a tight-fitting lid.*
2. *Save the bacon drippings in the refrigerator. That’s too much flavor to trash!
3. Place the Dutch oven back over the medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are mostly translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and drop heat again, this time to low.
4. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stir the browned bacon into the onions and liquid.
5. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking, adding 1/4 cup of water if it seems to be drying out. When the onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy, remove the dutch oven from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
6. Transfer the contents of the Dutch oven to the work bowl of a food processor that has been fitted with a blade. Fit the lid in place and pulse several times or until the Bacon Jam is a spreadable consistency. Scrape into a jar (or jars) or a container with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month. Or pressure process and seal for longer term storage.
7. Can be served cold, room temperature or warmed.
The bacon jam could take up to 3 hours to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Just stick with it!