Heaven in a jar. Spicy + Smokey + Sweet + Salty.
I am going to give you a huge warning. Once you begin making this, your house will turn into a drool zone. People will come from all over. If you make it, they will come. Headlights will line up your street. People will pay admission to just be near you. It is the Field of Dreams of Jams. True story.
After researching and researching different versions of this amazing jam, there are several ways to make it. I really think you could stir nearly anything into it and get something magical. No matter what, it will be hard for you to not devour in one sitting or even while you are cooking it. Seriously.
Typically this jam consists of:
- bacon (duh),
- onions (I used red but yellow would work too),
- vinegar (many recipes used cider vinegar but I opted for balsamic),
- sugar (I used maple syrup + 1 tablespoon of molasses…several recipes use a combo of brown sugar + maple, you could definitely play around with the ratios here)
- liquid (I used water, but Martha used strong brewed coffee)
- Optional spices (I added a jalapeño, but I also think some chipotle powder or other spicy add-ins would be redonculous like this recipe)
So without further ado…I present to you, the heavenly and amazing Jalapeño Bacon Jam! *Jazz Hands*
We had several people over and slathered it on burgers…erhmehgeeerd. SO GOOD. Somehow there was magically one tablespoon left. So I squirreled it away for my lunch the next day and topped a baked sweet potato with it. *swoooon*
Notes on storage – This should keep in a jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or the freezer for up to 6 months. But if this stuff is around longer than two days, I will be AMAZED at your self control. And don’t be surprised if it gets stolen…don’t look at me???
Jalapeño Bacon Jam (adapted from Martha Stewart and Homesick Texan)
- 1 lb bacon (nitrate free if possible), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease
- 2 red onions (about 2 1/2 cups), diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeños, deseeded and diced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup of water
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
- salt and cracked pepper
- Cut the bacon slices into 1-inch strips. Over medium-high heat, cook the bacon in a dutch oven stirring frequently until the bacon is browned but not crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Drain the bacon grease but reserve about 1 tablespoon.
- Add onions, jalapeño, and garlic to the dutch oven and cook over medium heat until the onions become translucent. This should take about 5 minutes. Add bacon and remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If jam gets too dry, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time. After it is good and thick, remove it from heat and allow to cool.
- If you want the jam to be a finer consistency, add it to a food processor and pulse a few times (not too much). I personally liked mine a bit chunky. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in refrigerator for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months. But if this stuff lasts longer than one or two days in your house, bravo to your self control!