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This sweet and savory Bacon Jam recipe is a versatile condiment that makes an excellent addition to a charcuterie tray and so much more. So easy to make and completely irresistible!
Have you been introduced to the amazing world of Bacon Jam? Well, let me do the honors.
Once you meet, you’ll never be the same. This stuff is out-of-this-world delicious. The kind of delicious you wake up thinking about the next day. The kind of delicious where all of your guests ask for the recipe.
Although you can find Bacon Jam in some grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s, it’s SO much tastier to make your own at home.
It’s a festive addition to a holiday appetizer menu but it doesn’t stop there.
The List of Ingredients
Big, flavorful ingredients create this incredible condiment.
- Thick-sliced bacon
- Sweet yellow onions
- Brown sugar
- Strong brewed coffee (a good strong brew like French Roast will do the trick)
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Balsamic vinegar
The Cooking Method
The process begins in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven. Slice the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and cook them over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the bacon until nicely crisped but not overly so. There will be a few soft-ish pieces remaining and that’s just fine.
Transfer the cooked bacon to paper towels to drain and pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Return the pan to the heat and add 5 cups of diced sweet yellow onion and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are very soft but not browned. If they are cooking to quickly and beginning to brown, reduce the heat under the pan a bit.
Reduce the heat to low and add the brown sugar and garlic and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes to caramelize the onions. Add the reserved bacon, some water, coffee, fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the water cooks off, add more in small increments, as needed, to create a jammy consistency.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
How to Easily Slice Bacon
Bacon slices cleanly and easily if it is slightly frozen. Place your package of bacon in your freezer for 15 to 20 minutes before you begin and it will make the process so much easier.
If the strips of bacon stick together, worry not! They will separate as they cook.
How to Store Bacon Jam
Do not confuse Bacon Jam with other jams and jellies that have gone through a canning process which makes them shelf stable. Bacon Jam is not suitable for canning and must be stored in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in the refrigerator. If stored and chilled properly, your Bacon Jam will stay fresh and delicious for 2 to 3 weeks.
For a longer life, pack your cooled Bacon Jam into straight-shouldered mason jars, leaving about 1-inch of headspace, and store it in your freezer. While freezer jams are typically fine if frozen for up to a year, I’d recommend safely defrosting your frozen Bacon Jam within 6 to 7 months for the best quality. To safely defrost it, transfer the frozen jam to your refrigerator to thaw completely. Check out this great Guide to Freezer Jam for more details.
A jar of Bacon Jam makes an excellent gift but be sure to attach a tag to let the recipient know that the jam should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 to 3 weeks.
How to Serve Bacon Jam
This is where it gets good!
Bacon Jam is exceptionally versatile. In addition to being an excellent appetizer choice it can (and should) also be consumed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- On a charcuterie tray with an assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers, and nuts (like these Easy Glazed Nuts)
- Spooned over cream cheese with crackers.
- As a hamburger spread (Bacon Jam Burgers – oh my!). Try adding a little crumbled blue cheese (totally swoon-worthy).
- Add a light smear to your next grilled cheese sandwich.
- Spread it on toasted bread with avocado for the best darned avocado toast of your life.
- Spoon it on toasted English muffins and top with scrambled or poached eggs for an unforgettable breakfast.
It is delicious chilled, at room temperature or microwave it for a minute and serve it slightly warm.
- 1 pound thick cut bacon
- 5 cups chopped sweet yellow onions (1/2-inch dice), about 2 to 3 medium onions
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup water, plus additional as needed
- 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch slices. Place a 14-inch sauté pan or Dutch oven over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the bacon is crisped but with a few softer pieces remaining. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and return the pan to the heat. Add the onions and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes until softened but not browned (reduce the heat under the pan a bit if onions are beginning to brown). Reduce the heat to LOW and add the sugar and garlic and continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about an additional 15 minutes. Add the reserved bacon, 1/2 cup water, coffee, fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. As water cooks off add more in small increments, if needed. Cook until the mixture is the consistency of jam.
- Remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar Stir well to combine.
- Serve at room temperature or warm for about a minute in the microwave and stir well before serving.