About a month ago, I had a burger at work for lunch that was topped with a house special bacon jam. I was so fascinated by this odd use of bacon that I had to try making it myself! Some people at work cringed when I asked about how they felt while others were just as excited as I was to try my concoction. So with tomorrow being the International Bacon Day and in preparation for all the Labor Day celebrations, I decided to share my recipe for this sweet and savory bacon jam.
During the week when I was brainstorming of a way to create my own bacon jam, I went to a BBQ dinner hosted by my friend’s dad (the same one who hosted me and another friend in Paris). That day, I discovered that her dad is an awesome cook and learned that many great flavors only come from patience. He served us the best pork ribs I’ve ever had, just falling off the bone with such a rich, smokey flavor and a caramelized onion topping. We chatted about the secrets of keeping the integrity of each ingredient while drawing out the most flavor — time was the secret ingredient. I took his advice to heart and incorporated a slow but rewarding process to caramelizing the onions before adding the crispy bacon and other components for taste.
In all honesty, if you’re not a huge fan of the savory + sweet combination, you can definitely skip the third-cup of brown sugar because the caramelized onion will give enough sweetness on its own. However, I am glad I added an extra bit of black pepper towards the end to give it a little kick ;) I hurried to take some of these snaps below so I can try both of the classic breakfast and BLT (arugula instead of lettuce) inspired toasts.
Feel free to try them at home and I’d love to know what you think of the recipe!
- 1 pack of thick cut bacon
- 4 yellow sweet onions
- 8 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of grape seed oil
- 1/3 cup of warm water
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of pepper
- Chop onions into long, thin slices
- Caramelize onions on low heat with grape seed oil (1 hour)
- Chop bacon into 1-2cm wide pieces
- On separate pan, cook bacon until they're crisp
- Drain the oil and add it to the caramelizing onion
- Add brown sugar and water; let it simmer on low heat (30 minutes)
- Chop the garlic cloves and add to the bacon + onion pan
- Add salt and pepper; let it continue to simmer (30 minutes)
- The key to a flavorful caramelized onion is to be patient and keep it on low heat!
- Don't forget to stir the mixture every 5-10 minutes to make sure it's evenly heated and nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- If your eyes burn while chopping onion, try lighting a candle nearby to burn off the onion fumes.
- The brown sugar is optional as the caramelized onion gets pretty sweet on its own.