bacon jammin'

We were super psyched when our friends at Union Square Events, the catering business of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, shared their recipe for...
By: Anna Decker / 12/09/2015 / Stories

It’s sweet and savory and, well, jammy and it’s the perfect thing to have on hand during the holiday season. Whether you’re entertaining or you just have unexpected guests drop by, this bacon jam is our secret weapon for whipping up easy snacks, appetizers, even breakfast. Here are some of their favorite ways to use it:

  • Elevate a simple salad dressing. Think blue cheese dressing for a wedge salad.

  • Spread on roasted pork loin and serve alongside roasted apples, pears, and mustard greens.

  • Top French toast with bacon jam, then drizzle with maple syrup.

  • Fold into risotto or mashed potatoes.

  • Stir into creamy mac and cheese.

  • Spread on a baguette with lettuce and tomato for a new take on the BLT.

That last one is our favorite! Here’s what we’ll do with the bacon jam:

  • First one’s easy: simply toast up some crusty bread, drizzle with olive oil or spread with butter (you deserve it!) and then top with a smear of bacon jam.

  • Serve as part of an elegant cheese board—its sweet and savory flavor goes especially well with salty hard cheeses. Some toasted walnuts and fresh pears wouldn’t hurt either.

  • For rough mornings, try an Elvis-inspired toast of peanut butter, sliced banana and bacon jam. Or, for something a little less decadent, you can skip the banana.

  • Bake up a batch of buttery biscuits—big ones for brunch, bite-size for hors d’oeuvre—split them, and layer with sliced ham and jam: we call it the Ham-On-Ham. Or the Ham-Jamwich. We’re still working on it.

  • Spread a layer of bacon jam inside a grilled cheese sandwich, or serve it alongside for dipping.

  • Like bacon burgers? Try a dollop on top of a beef—or turkey, or veggie—patty in place of bacon and caramelized onions. They’re already in there!

  • Tuck a spoonful inside an omelet or stir into soft scrambled eggs.

  • Fold a little bacon jam into pancake or waffle batter for something my college-town referred to as “saddle bags.” (This is true).

  • Whisk a spoonful into a pan-sauce for seared chicken or pork chops.

  • Toss roasted vegetables with a bit of bacon jam and another splash of sherry vinegar just before serving.

  • And it wouldn’t be a party without dip, right? Stir a spoonful of bacon jam into a mixture of equal parts sour cream, mayonnaise, and buttermilk for a dip that comes together faster than you can say lickity-split. Serve with chips or crudité.

  • Make a batch (or 2) to get you through the season or, better yet, make a big batch to package as host or thank you gifts. Just be sure to set aside a little for yourself. You won’t regret it.

Bacon Jam Makes about 1½ cups

12 oz bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 sprigs fresh thyme 3 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 dried bay leaf ½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar ½ cup chopped dried apricots or golden raisins 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Place bacon in large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 10–12 minutes. Transfer bacon to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet.

Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper to skillet and cook, stirring often, until onions are very soft, 10–15 minutes. If bottom of skillet begins to darken, add a splash of water, 2 tablespoons at a time, and cook, stirring, until evaporated. Add thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar is melted, about 1 minute. Stir in apricots or raisins and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Return bacon to skillet and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

Once cool, remove thyme and rosemary sprigs. Transfer bacon mixture to a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth but with some texture remaining.

Bacon jam will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 4 weeks.