Recipes · Yummy

Martha and Me – Bacon Jam

I am a fan of the Pioneer Woman. I love her down-to-earth style and her simple home-cooking. The fact that she homeschools is pretty cool too. I also like Rachel Ray. What’s not to love about 30 Minute Meals? And Paula Deen, has some great go-to recipes for potlucks or parties. But when it comes to my kitchen diva alter ego, I’m going to have to go with Martha Stewart. She is the real deal. The complete package – crafts, entertaining, gardening, decorating, and of course fabulous cooking.

At first glance, it might not make much sense that of all the TV cooking personalities I identify most with Martha Stewart.  After all she is known for style, sophistication, and finesse. I am known for that time I accidentally failed to discover a moldy ham and cheese sandwich in my son’s backpack, and his teacher had to call maintenance to find the source of the smell in her classroom.  Not my best parenting moment.

Martha’s dinning table is likely adorned with a homemade centerpiece made from cranberries, rose hip, and sage. Mine is cluttered with laundry, bills, and unsigned permission slips. She carves and decorates pumpkins to look like owls and porcupines and founding fathers. I let my undecorated pumpkins rot on the porch until Thanksgiving.  Martha runs a style empire. I run my kids to ballgames and band practices.

Still, if we knew each other in real life, I think Martha Stewart and I could be friends. Maybe my laid back way would mesh perfectly with her no nonsense expertise. I would soften her around the edges. She would take my sense of home decor style beyond wine corks and dog treats.

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Besides, it’s not as if Martha (I don’t think she’ll mind if I call her Martha) and I don’t have anything in common. We both raise chickens. We both have French Bulldogs. And we both wear barn jackets. It’s like we were separated at birth.

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This is also how I look when I head out to feed my chickens in the snow.

All of this is to say, that as much as I like to experiment in the kitchen and come up with new recipes, when I need something special or when I want something very specific, I turn to the experts. So, a few weeks ago, when I was on the hunt for a recipe for bacon jam, I knew where to look. Martha to the rescue!

If you don’t know what bacon jam is, you’re not alone. I had never heard of it either until I went to dinner with a friend at one of my favorite restaurants. I was just on the verge of ordering my usual (chicken enchiladas) when, on  whim, I decided to try the special – a turkey sandwich with bacon jam. Bacon jam is jam – MADE FROM BACON. It is spreadable bacon!  And it is AMAZING. I could not get my mind off of this sandwich, and I was really eager  to try my hand at bacon jam at home.

So I did. And it was amazing too. Here’s how Martha and I make Slow Cooker Bacon Jam.

You need :

  • 1 1/2 lbs of bacon
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic (pressed or peeled and diced)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup black coffee

Is your mouth watering yet?

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a large skillet. Once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the skillet onto a paper towel, and save all but one tablespoon of bacon grease. I save my bacon grease to use later for other cooking.

Next, saute your garlic and finely chopped onions in the the tablespoon of bacon grease. I chop my onions in the food processor. It isn’t the Martha way, but it’s way easier. And to be fair, I do not have a staff of sous chefs and prep cooks. Saute until onions are translucent. Martha says about six minutes, but it took me a bit longer. (I like her, but she is kind of a one-upper.)

Now add coffee, maple syrup, vinegar, and brown sugar. Bring the onion mixture to a boil and let it boil about two minutes whilst you be sure to scrape all the good bacon bits off the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Add the cooked bacon and stir.

Transfer this mixture to a slow cooker and cook UNCOVERED for 3 to 4 hours until the liquid is syrupy.

Finally transfer everything to a food processor and pulse a few times. There should still be small, visible  bits of chopped bacon. You aren’t trying to puree the mixture.

Let your bacon jam cool and serve. Bacon jam can be served on a biscuit or toast, but I used mine to make sandwiches.

Spread bacon jam on your favorite sandwich bread. I think a flat bread is best. We used naan.

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Next add turkey and other favorite toppings. I used sharp cheddar, lettuce, and tomato. The sandwich I ordered at the restaurant also had avocado and remloude sauce – very tasty.

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Charming Friends, I cannot tell you how good this sandwich is. It might seem like a lot of work for a sandwich, but this recipe makes a generous amount of bacon jam, and it keeps for up to four weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Totally worth the effort – even if you don’t have your own staff.

 

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