Bacon Jam is one of the sweetest indulgences I’ve ever experienced. In this recipe, thick cut bacon is simmered with sweet onion, fresh garlic, tangy cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and special seasonings until it becomes thick, sweet and spicy. Serve it on burgers, as a spread with cream cheese and crostini, buttermilk biscuits or over warm goat cheese for an unforgettable appetizer.
I have an amazing circle of friends. We’re all moms and we love to get together once a month or so for dinner, just us girls. We typically choose a restaurant we wouldn’t be as likely to visit with our entire family and we sample the Chef’s specials and fancy appetizers. On one such occasion some time ago, we ordered a Charcuterie board and it came with house made bacon jam. It was spectacular and I knew I had to work on my own recipe to share with my family. I’m a huge fan of sweet and spicy flavor combos so, my bacon jam packs a slight heat. You can adjust this to your taste, of course. If you like candied bacon, you’ll flip for bacon jam. I prefer to leave the texture of my bacon jam a bit chunky however, you can puree the jam after cooking if you want it to be more like a paste. I also want to mention that this jam is best when it’s not made with the drippings from the cooked bacon. The bacon fat solidifies after it cools and makes it less appetizing. Make your own Charcuterie board, or serve it on sandwiches, burgers, subs, slathered on biscuits or crostini with cream cheese and chives. One bite and you’ll be hooked.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 1/2 lb thick cut bacon chopped into 1/2" pieces
- 2 Tbsp butter unsalted
- 2 medium sweet onions (i.e. Vidalia) chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ancho chile powder or paprika
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain then finely crumble. Reserve bacon drippings or freeze for use in another dish.
Add butter and diced onion to the skillet. Cook the onion over medium until browned and beginning to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute longer or until fragrant.
Add brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, chili powder, pepper flakes and bacon to the skillet. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until thickened and reduced around 20-25-minutes.
Serve on burgers, crostini, cheese or crackers.
For a finer texture, pulse cooked bacon jam in a food processor until desired consistency is achieved.
May be stored in an airtight container chilled for 2 weeks or frozen.