I went on a girls getaway with my best friend from high school recently. We try to get together when we can but this trip was long overdue. We went shoe shopping at Nordstroms, bought our dinner from Pikes Place market, and reminisced about old times over martinis. My best friend and I have grown up to be opposites in most things but at the end of the day best friends are like wet jeans, they stick to you no matter what.
At Pikes Place market there is an Italian deli and grocery store we always visit to buy fresh pasta for dinner. On this particular occasion I noticed a product called bacon jam. I initially thought the "jam" was just bacon grease in a jar. I instantly had visions of riches in my fridge where I always have bacon grease stored (the "jam" was selling for $14 a jar).
Then I started wondering who in the world would spend $14 for bacon grease. A full fledged rant on the consumerism of our society was building up in my head. The need to spend $14 of a jar of bacon grease is the perfect example of a "first world problem". You know.. issues that you would never see in a in third world country that has bigger fish to fry.
- "Shmoopie, we are all out of bacon grease and its just too hard to make it. Here's a $20, be a dear and take the Hummer to the store for a 6oz jar."
- The person in front of me in the coffee line throwing a fit because they ran out of skim milk (I'm sitting in a coffee shop at the moment listening to this one).
- "Angry Birds is sooo slow on my phone. It must be defective and I demand a new one!" (Ok, it's too slow to use on my phone. My crazy solution is to not download it and look at the angry birds outside)
- "Dammit! The batteries ran out on the book I was reading." (I saw this one on the internet once)
- "I can't go walking today because the gym is closed." (I did hear this one from an actual person once)
- But on of my all-time favorite examples of consumerism and first world problems is the advent of the hot chocolate maker. Really.... Heat water, rip open packet, stir. I just saved you $20 on a hot chocolate maker.
But I digress. It turns out that bacon jam is actually bacon, onions, and other various items cooked down and pureed together. Now that I like. Now that I can make!
I have no clue what the $14 jam tastes like but I found lots of inspiration online. It turns out that people are crazy for the stuff. I shut the computer and went with my bacony instincts in creating this one. But then how should you eat bacon jam? Here's my solution for today.
|Homemade wheat toast, a schmear of bacon jam, and a poached egg fresh from the chicken.|
Spicy Bacon Jam
- 1 LB peppered bacon - come on... get the good stuff here. I headed to Otto's for mine.
- 1 large onion sliced thinly
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup - ditto on the good stuff as well.
- 1 TBS Tabasco sauce - I think next time I'll try it with fresh peppers but I love Tabasco with eggs.
- Bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan CAUSE I'M A WOMANNN... W-O-M-A-N! Wait.. where was I? I used a dutch oven for this. Move bacon to a towel lined plate (I hate using paper towels) to drain.
- Drain off all but 2 TBS (ok.. ok... I used at least 1/4 cup but I'm trying to be mildly sensible here) of the bacon grease. Save it or make your dogs very very happy.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute over medium heat for 8- 10 minutes until they carmelize.
- Chop up the bacon into small chunks and add to the pan along with the other ingredients. Cover and let it stew for a couple hours until its all brown goodness. I added a 1/4 cup of water midway through cooking to keep the consistency I wanted. Check it out.
- Finally, throw it all in a food processor and puree it. I left mine a little chunky.
- It should keep for about a month in the fridge. I also froze a jar so I'll update when I pull it out. I didn't try it but you should be able to pressure can it for about 75 minutes. I did hear it makes a greasy mess though.