We've all heard about bacon jam by now and I thought I'll never catch on with the trend. My son is an avid fan of bacon and he is relentless with the hints so I had to give it a go.
Bacon jam is new fangled condiment usually made with bacon, onions, sugar and vinegar. It is of spreadable consistency and is slathered on bread as a base for other fillings. I like that but I had an idea of adding in tomatoes for a more rounded taste. I also wanted it to be a sauce rather than a spread because sauces are more versatile. They can be used as dips and condiments as well as spreads.
For the bacon to stand out in a sauce, I fried it, but just enough because I did not want crispy bits in the sauce. I also caramelized the sauce twice to develop a deeper taste so it doesn't end up tasting like ragu. It didn't take long to reach the taste that I was aiming for. A sweet, slightly tangy, slightly spicy, rich ketchup emerged from the combined flavours. They developed so well together that you won't be able to pick the individual ingredients out. It is a tasty, delicious sauce that would go well with burgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, fried egg, fries...the list goes on.
250 gms. of smoked streaky bacon, diced
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
c. chopped white onions
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. honey
2 tsps. paprika
1 c. tinned chopped tomatoes
2 c. cola
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 whole cloves
2 tbsps. brown sugar (optional)
Put the diced bacon in a pan. Turn the heat on low and let the bacon release its juices. Stir the bacon occasionally so it won't catch in the pan. Let the juices evaporate.
When the bacon is dry and starts to render fat, turn the heat to medium and let the bacon cook, stirring constantly. The bacon should render most of the fat, be fried but not crisped. Strain the bacon bits and reserve the fat.
Use the same pan so you don't lose any of the bacon flavour that's still in it. Add 2 tbsps. of bacon fat and the crushed garlic. Sauté on medium heat until the garlic is light golden brown in colour. Add the onions and the salt and cook until soft and starting to colour. Add in the honey and paprika. Turn the heat up and stir constantly until the mixture is fairly dry and caramelized. Add in the chopped tomatoes, 1 c. of the cola, vinegar and chilli. Puree this with a hand blender (or in a blender). Add in the bacon and cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat, covered, for 15 minutes.
Turn the heat up again to caramelize the mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture is thick and syrupy. When you reach this stage, add in the remaining cola and bring to a boil.
Taste this and add more salt if you need to. Bacon varies in degree of saltiness so withhold your salt until the end. If you want it sweeter, add the brown sugar. This ketchup should be rather thick to be able to suspend the bacon bits.
Serve as a dip or condiment.
Store in the fridge and re-heat before serving.
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