Bacon jam has been done and done. I’ve even done it and I’m always the last one to catch onto anything. But that doesn’t mean that just because the fad is dusty that it has become any less relevant. Bacon jam is excellent and I’ve been missing it in my fridge these past few months ever since my obsession waned. Oh, I’ve had my bacon salt to keep me going but there is nothing like a tablespoon of bacon jam in a bolognaise or gravy to add the patented smoky sweetness. This time round I also ate it slathered on toast with peanut butter, it was particularly decadent and incredibly delicious.
Since I’m perfectly happy with my tried and tested bacon jam recipe from last year I thought I would do something different to keep it interesting so I’ve Britished it up a bit. The bacon jam I’m used to has the delightful notes of intense black coffee, smoky chipotle in adobo and American Bourbon. This time round though I wanted to celebrate the kind of lovely local ingredients which we have on our doorstep; the London ale which we are drinking an abundance of at the moment whilst relaxing in the garden and the local honey I just picked up from the farmer’s market. Imbued with these comforting and familiar ingredients, spiced lightly with mace and ginger and the subtle heat of English mustard, the jam works wonderfully. It is a natural accompaniment to cheese and crackers and the picnic perfect wensleydale scones which I am posting about tomorrow.
Bacon jam is supposed to keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge but I have found that it lasts much longer, that is if you can resist. This pot lasted about 2 days.
Bacon and Ale Jam
Makes about 500ml
300g smoked streaky bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
60ml cider vinegar
60g soft brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard powder
⅛ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground mace
Put the bacon in a large saucepan and cook on a medium heat until the bacon really crisps up, stirring all the while to keep it from sticking. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add the onion to the pan and cook on a very low heat. After 5 mins add the garlic then continue cooking until the onion begins to caramelise, it should take around 20 mins.
Pour in the vinegar to deglaze the pan.
Add the bacon back in, as well as the sugar, honey, ale, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, ginger, mace and some black pepper.
The heat should be on the very lowest setting and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until reduced to a thick and sticky jam.
When it’s ready, turn off the heat and pour into a sterlised jar. Keep the jam in the fridge ready for whenever you need it.