Being known to have a few pieces of bacon as my sole sustenance for a meal, one could say I am one of millions (or billions) of bacon dedicatees out there. Even though bacon has hit the trend radar and has been featured in its many forms in restaurants across the nation…I’m talking bacon ice cream, pork belly or fat back this and that, bacon vinaigrette, brittle, and the like, don’t think that you need to seek new, meaty frontiers. Trends are sore subjects for early adopters and/or lifelong users and even addicts, but a nationwide bacon trend is one I can’t seem to turn my nose up to.
In the past year or so I’ve heard the two words “bacon” and “jam” compounded, which has turned another facial feature upwards. With eyebrows raised and a watering mouth, a bacon fanatic can’t help but want to see this seemingly original mixture in play.
Creating a bacon jam is simple, with just one pot you can whip up this sweet, smoky, and vivaciously viscous concoction. To a bacon base add rich sweetness, tangy vinegar, and whatever else can piggyback on.
In light of spring I decided to highlight ramps rather than the typical onion/garlic/shallot players in the bacon jam game. With a standard base of brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and coffee, I added apples for a second flare and VOILA, Ramp Apple Bacon Jam!
Scroll all the way down for two recipes utilizing this magnificent brew. Use these recipes more as inspiration to create other dishes incorporating your jam.
Ramp and Apple Bacon Jam
1 lb. Bacon
3 bunches ramps, remove leaves and ends and coarsely chop white parts
1 apple (I used Braeburn), cut unto small chunks.
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon grainy mustard
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup brewed coffee
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Slice bacon into 1-inch strips and cook in a skillet or Dutch oven until cooked through, about 10minutes. Remove cooked bacon and set aside. Leave 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet.
Over medium-low heat, add ramps, brown sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring consistently until ramps are translucent. Add apples, mustard, and coarse ground pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add vinegar, and using a wooden spoon, scrape bottom of pan to deglaze. Add coffee, syrup, more black pepper, and cooked bacon. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 1-½ hours.
Let cool for 20 minutes and skim off any excess fat that rises to the top. Once cooled, transfer bacon jam into a jar, seal tightly and place in refrigerator. Will last 1-2 weeks.
How To Use Bacon Jam: Play on Bacon and Eggs
Bacon Jam Deviled Eggs
Place eggs in a small saucepot and add cold water until the eggs are just submerged. Place pot on high heat and bring water to a boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil time 6 minutes before removing the saucepot and placing in sink. Run cold water over the eggs for 3 minutes.
Peel the eggs, cut in half lengthwise, and remove yolk with a spoon. Place the yolks of your eggs into a small bowl. Use the ratio of 2 parts egg yolk to 1 part bacon jam. Add in Dijon mustard to create a smoother, creamier texture. Season with salt and pepper and stir mixture with a fork until smooth. Place yolk mixture back into egg whites and serve with a basil garnish for a licorice-y bite.
Not Your Typical Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwich
For this one, be creative! I made a sandwich using a toasted butter roll topped with melted Oregon smoky blue cheese. I layered creamy Dijon mustard, fresh garden spinach, a fried egg, and of coarse the Ramp & Apple Bacon jam.
Add thinly sliced red onion for extra brightness or a slice of apple for extra crunch.