A little over a month ago, we had the tremendous good fortune of visiting beautiful, romantic, mysterious, Savannah, Georgia. It was truly the experience of a lifetime and we most certainly will be going back some day.
We stayed in an amazing bed and breakfast, The Azalea Inn and Gardens, in the historic district. One day, my husband and I set out on foot, to stroll the streets and soak up all Savannah had to offer. We stopped into this pub/eatery called 'The Distillery', where their motto is 'Craft Not Crap'. While enjoying some exceptional craft beer, we nibbled on deep fried dill pickle spears with a chipotle aioli, and then....BACON JAM, with toasted brioche and heirloom tomatoes! It was pure heaven! I vowed to try to duplicate this delectable treat when we returned home and I've done just that.
Since being back home, we've had bacon jam on grilled baquette several times and every time, even though the guests changed, the response did not: 'Oh my God! That's delicious!'. Its truly a treat you'll not soon forget and it's so easy to make!
Here's what you'll need:
1 and 1/2 pounds of bacon, cut into 1" pieces
2 cups finely chopped shallots
4 small cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. chilli powder
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup of bourbon (or whiskey if it's more to your liking)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
Cook the bacon until browned, transfer to a paper towel to drain and remove fat, reserving 1 Tbsp. and the brown bits.
Add shallots and garlic to the pan with reserved bacon fat and brown bits and cook over medium heat, stirring until translucent. Add chilli powder, ginger and mustard; cook, stirring about 1 minute. Increase heat to high, add bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up all those scrumptious brown bits from the bacon.
Add vinegar and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, add the bacon, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to glaze, about 10 minutes.
Pour into a food processor and pulse to the consistency of chunky jam. Refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 1 hour, up to 4 weeks. To serve, spoon amount you think you'll need into a small serving dish or ramiken. I usually like to bring it to room temperature before serving. Serve on a board or platter with sliced Camembert cheese and grilled or toasted baquette or other bread of choice. One wine that pairs very well with bacon jam is a hearty burgundy such as Gallo Family's Vineyard Hearty Burgundy.
As an appetizer before a grilled supper outside, or as an hors d'oeuvres when entertaining or, better yet, make a batch and place in pretty jars and give them as gifts....whatever way you present it, it's sure to be a hit!