Sunday, January 16, 2011

slow cooker bacon jam

This weekend was designated indulgent bacon weekend for us. I've been dying to try this Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam from December's issue of Everyday Food and decided to make it this Saturday. Just the title may make you feel slightly squeamish or you may just think I'm kidding - but in all seriousness this is the most delicious way I've ever tasted bacon. Even if you aren't sure if bacon is really your thing this bacon jam will make you a total convert.

This was so much fun to make. All ingredients are household staples, so you really just need an afternoon to make it. I had Nuno pick up good quality bacon from Lakeshore Meats. Then along with the bacon you add onions, garlic, cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, coffee (I used leftover Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut coffee from the morning). It's hard to let it sit in the slow-cooker with the cover off (!) for 3 hours and not dive in, but keep in mind it's well worth your wait even with its irresistible aroma filling your home. This recipe makes a lot, so it's great to share with others since it only lasts a week in the fridge.

See! It's very fragrant and deep in flavour and presented on these melba toasts would make a sophisticated canape. But I had way bigger ideas for this condiment. Here are some of the endless possibilities this jam could be used in. Of course, I'm having it daily in a grilled cheese sandwich, but it would be delicious in pretty much any sandwich. I might try it with a roasted tomato sandwich later this week. It would be a great topping on waffles with maple syrup. I could see it working well as a garnish on meat or fish as well as on soup such as Manhattan Fish Chowder or French Onion Soup. Top this on your veggies such as roasted potatoes or steamed green beans and I'm sure they'd go down easy. Eat it straight up with potato chips (or blend it with French Onion Dip). You could mix it with oil and vinegar as a salad dressing. 

I even took this too far by topping it on a Reese Peanut Butter Cup and I'm not kidding, bacon and peanut butter is total heaven.  I enjoyed my bacon jam late into the night last night watching Marie Antoinette and it really felt like a decadent and over the top food & movie match made in heaven.