Jalapeño Bacon Jam.

I love bacon.  And really, who doesn’t?  A friend and I even have a longstanding joke where we exchange bacon related gifts with each other on birthdays and holidays.

Bacon Jam first crossed my radar when Kevin made a dish with it on season 6 of Top Chef.    It just sounded too damn good.  I had found a recipe a while ago and aquired all of the ingredients, but it required 6-8 hours of occasionally stirring on the stove.  And honestly?  I don’t have that kind of time so it kept getting pushed to the back burner.

Flash forward to the extreme look of joy on my face when I opened the December 2010 issue of Everyday Food.  My bacon jam dream was finally going to come true.

I served the bacon jam with some brie and mini toasts for a New Year’s Day Brunch, but it is equally as good slathered on a piece of toast and topped with a fried egg.  I’m excited to try it as a topping on a burger and to stir it into some pasta.  The bacon possibilities are endless.

Jalapeño Bacon Jam – slightly adapted from the December 2010 issue of Everyday Food Magazine

- 1 1/2 Lbs. Bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

- 2 Medium Onions, diced

- 2 jalapeños, seeded and deveined

- 3 Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled

- 1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar

- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed

- 3/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

- 3/4 Cup Brewed Coffee

Cook bacon over medium high, stirring occasionally until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.  Reserve 1 Tbsp. fat in skillet and add onions, jalapeños and garlic.  Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee.  Bring to a boil while stirring with a wooden spoon, careful to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.  Add bacon and stir to combine.

Transfer mixture to a slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, about 4 hours until syrupy.

Using a food processor (I used a Magic Bullet), pulse until coarsely chopped.  Let cool.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

**NOTES**

Make sure the fat is completely rendered before removing bacon from the pan.  I didn’t let it render enough, and it added 2 hours to my cooking time.

I found it strange to keep something uncovered in a slowcooker, but it helps to release the moisture in the food, turning the bacon mixture into a syrupy consistency.

The jalapeños were not very hot, but they added a great smokiness to the jam.  If you prefer your jam with more heat, leave some seeds in.

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