Bacon jam is where the best of sweet and savory meet. I whipped up my first batch of bacon jam a few years back when I lived in Brooklyn. I brought it to work the next day with a loaf of bread and it was gone in seconds. Colleagues demanded more and I thought it would be so much fun to have a little bacon jam side hustle. The bacon jam company never came to fruition but I still make it when requested.
This bacon jam is chock full of dark fruits soaked in bourbon and coffee to add natural sweetness, depth, and personality to the jam while cutting down on refined sugar.
Slather it on crusty bread, brussels sprouts, corn muffins, or on a juicy burger and enjoy the flavor explosion.
Bourbon Bacon Jam with Dark Fruits
Makes six 4 oz jars
- ½ cup bourbon
- ½ cup brewed coffee
- 5 pitted dates, chopped
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- 1.5 lb bacon (24 oz package)
- 1 Tbsp bacon fat, reserved
- 1 cup shallots, diced
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ Cracked black pepper
- In a small mixing bowl, soak pitted dates and dried cherries in bourbon and coffee. Set aside.
- In a large cast iron skillet, cook bacon in batches, according to the package, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 Tbsp of bacon fat.
- Add reserved bacon fat to cast iron skillet over medium heat, add shallots and cook until lightly brown, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue to caramelize and soften for 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the bourbon soaked fruit and liquid from the mixing bowl. Stir and scrape the skillet to make sure the shallots do not burn. Cook for an additional minute.
- Add bacon, caramelized onions, dates, and cherries in a food processor and pulse to your preferred texture. Some like it more rustic, others like it more fine.
- Return the bacon mixture to the skillet over medium-low heat and add balsamic vinegar, light brown sugar, smoked paprika, and cracked black pepper. Stir until the mixture is uniform and simmer for another 10-13 minutes until the jam thickens to your liking.
- Taste to see if more paprika or cracked pepper is needed.