So many of you know that I spent most of last week getting ready for our annual Halloween party. What you may not know, is that I seriously burned myself countless times, poured a huge amount of hot bacon grease all over my kitchen floor as well as my flip flops, set off the fire alarm twice, and accidentally kicked Brenna away from the stove three times, not realizing that she was there. The bacon grease most assuredly had something to do with Brenna refusing to give up her position so near to my kitchen stove. On any other day she would most likely be upstairs in hiding, nestled into our down comforter, and occasionally creeping closer and closer to her Daddy’s pillow, even though she knows that that particular spot of the bed is off limits to her. Instead she spent most of the afternoon rolling around like a fat pig in the glorious smell of bacon grease, all the while ignoring the shrill sound of the smoke detector going off, as I ran to and fro opening doors and windows to allow the smoke to escape. Sounds fun, right? Perhaps not, but at least at the end of the day, there was bacon jam. And let me just tell you folks, there isn’t anything else in this world that can measure up to homemade jam made out of bacon. It might be a pain to make, it could possibly burn the living hell out of the skin on your hands, it may fill your entire house up with billowing clouds of smoke, and it could even burn a hole through your flip flops. It’s all worth it. Hell, even the cat won’t care about you accidentally kicking it in the ass, as long as it gets to roll around in the glorious scent of bacon grease.
- 1 1/2 Pounds of Thick-Cut Bacon
- 2 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
- 1 Cup Shallots, Finely Chopped
- 2 Cups Sweet Yellow Onions, Finely Chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Grated
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Whiskey
- 1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
- Cook the bacon until very crispy, and then allow it to drain on a paper towel lined plate. When the bacon has cooled enough to handle, chop or crumble it into small pieces, and then set it aside for later use.
- Place the shallots and onions in a saucepan with the bacon grease, over medium heat. Cook until caramelized, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes. Be patient, because this may take some time to accomplish.
- Stir in the garlic; cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Slowly add in the whiskey, being careful not to burn the entire house down.
- Add the maple syrup, increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the vinegar and brown sugar, and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the bacon to the saucepan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 12 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- Allow the jam to cool some before storing it in airtight glass containers.
- This jam will only last for one week refrigerated. I suggest freezing some of it in small containers for later use.
- Slather this jam on anything. Yes, I do mean anything.
- If you choose to be super cautious, remove the saucepan from the stove when adding the whiskey, to prevent flame ups.
- Use Grade B Maple Syrup in this recipe, as well as a high quality balsamic vinegar and whiskey.
- Add chopped pecans to the jam.
- Add a pinch of instant espresso coffee to the jam when cooking.
- Serve this jam over top of ice cream.
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