Some of you may have read one of my recent posts about discovering bacon jam at a local Cape Cod restaurant. First encountered at Winslow’s Tavern in Wellfleet, Rich’s love affair with bacon jam continued to flourish throughout the fall. The three original jars that we purchased at Winslow’s disappeared quickly, albeit one went to our son to experiment with. We served ours with capresse salads, finding the pungent smoky and savory bacon notes perfect with buffalo mozzarella and garden ripe tomatoes. Our son turned us on to adding a dollop of bacon jam to pan-seared scallops, a wonderful combination that intensified the sweetness of the scallop. For a holiday party we served an hors d’oeuvre of crostini with bacon jam and brie, a real show stopper, and a mini-capresse skewer with bacon jam vinaigrette. Rich, of course, spreads bacon jam on burgers and I’m dying to try it on a BLT, but the best application so far has been on a new breakfast special that Rich is testing. I can’t give away his secrets yet, but it includes a fried egg and avocado. Look for it soon on our breakfast specials board at the Inn.
For those of you who love a challenge in the kitchen, I am sharing Rich’s bacon jam recipe here. With a nod to Martha Stewart, where we found the basic recipe Rich used for his version, I can tell you that in a blind taste test between the original Winslow’s Tavern version and Rich’s iteration, Rich’s won hands down. In light of full transparency, the taste testers were family members, but remember the tasting was done blind. We have shared samples with our guests, who concur that bacon jam is the bomb. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out. And please share any ideas you come up with on how to use it in recipes
1 ½ pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup, grade A dark amber
¾ cup strong brewed coffee
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.
- Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, using a slotted spoon.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon to mixture and combine.
- Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 ½ to 4 hours.
- Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.