by Karen Swan
It has been said many times and by many people: “I’d go vegetarian but I love bacon too much.” I fall firmly into the bacon lovers camp.
Oddly enough, every member of my family, when told of my plans to make bacon jam, gave me the same, quizzical expression whilst asking “Why?”
I think the issue comes from getting your head around the concept of a traditional jam; sweet and sticky, made from the smokey, savoury flavours of bacon. Let’s face it, “Meat Jam” doesn’t exactly sound appetising!
But, delicious it is! Think a slightly sweet chutney or relish you’d serve with bread or eggs.
You’ll get about 6 cups from this mix, and one jar is a lovely amount for one family.
If you love bacon and the contrast of salty/sweet, give this a go!
(makes 6 jars)
18 slices of good quality, rindless bacon
1 and a half red onion – finely diced
30 Medjool dates (seeds removed) *you could use dried dates if you haven’t fresh.
3 cup boiling water.
Pour the boiling water over the dates in a jug and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
Using a deep frying pan or casserole pot, cook the bacon until it’s lovely and burnished, but not crispy.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Using the oils from the bacon, cook down the onion until it’s soft and beginning to break down (about 10 minutes)
Return the bacon to the pan and, after mashing the dates, add these along with the soaking water.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the mix thickens and becomes sticky, but with still enough moisture to stop it looking, (excuse the visual here), congealed.
Cool and then pulse in a food processor to a chunky jam-like consistency (or to your liking, I kept mine quite thick)
Place in jars and either serve immediately (see ideas below) or keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
*note: kept in the fridge, it does thicken further and definitely needs some heat before eating.
We’ve eaten ours a few different ways:
Breakfast: I cooked a thin slice of scotch fillet steak, placing a dollop of the jam on top to heat up, then served like an open steak sandwich (minus the bread) with a fried egg.
Easy Dinner: Toasted gluten free bagel with lettuce, egg, sliced tomato and bacon jam.
Easy Side Dish: stirred through cooked kale.
Easy Snack: spread on toast!
*We’ve big batched the original recipe, found here