For those who read my blog last year, or are friends with either my husband or I, you would know that we have a bit of an obsession with bacon jam. It all started when I stumbled across Skillet Street Food’s Bacon Jam in a cheese store in Collingwood, Ontario. I went in with a friend, and while trying not to paw every item in the store with my greasy mits, I couldn’t help but be drawn (not unlike a gravitational pull) towards the sampling table. And that’s when I first laid eyes on bacon jam. I even read it aloud, with a ‘huh’, not unlike Malcolm Reynolds. Huh. Bacon Jam. Before anyone could say ‘WHAT?!’ I had a cracker in my hand and was spreading the jam liberally over it, I sniffed it (as you do) and nibbled the edge of the cracker. Oh my god, seriously? In went the rest of the cracker and I went in hunt of this bacon jam, as the possibility of a purchase was approaching, and fast. Unfortunately when I found the tubs, I found they were $17 each. $17! For bacon jam? Oh no, I don’t think so. So we left the store, and the taste of the bacon jam lingered, and that was the exact moment I added the non-purchase of Skillet Bacon Jam to my list of non-purchased regrets. Non buyers remorse some might say.
So after months of me banging on about this bacon jam, other friends of ours came across some, in that same little cheese shop, and made a purchase for us. Go Team Hughezenbacher! And this is where a passion, and someone of an obsession, was born.
After much talking about this bacon jam, and its infinite glory, I started to wonder… why don’t I try making bacon jam? And while it seemed impossible, it was an idea I continued to toy with. Over conversation with a fellow bacon lover, Lindsay, I found she also had the inclination to have a crack at bacon jamming. And if our passion for all things bacon and wanting to make bacon jam wasn’t planet aligning enough, Linds also cans things. Not like cancelling, axing, or dismissing, like food canning. The light shone down from the heavens above, and I said ‘let there be bacon jam’. Well, it didn’t happen quite that way, but it might as well have. We booked a bacon jamming date, and it was set, we were going to do this!
First stop was research, and we did a little, and learnt a few things on the way. It was quite clear what the common ingredients for bacon jam were, and that canning isn’t actually what we need to be doing. To can meats apparently you need a pressure canner, which we don’t have. However, it would keep in an air tight container for up to four weeks in the fridge. Good enough for us! We narrowed recipes down to two main recipes, and made little tweaks to them. Actually, one was a major tweak, we switched out bacon for prosciutto in one.
So recipe one was a boozy bacon jam, with smoked bacon & bourbon, as well as a whole pantry shelf of spices, and lets not forget the onion. The second jam, the prosicutto one, was a little different. Prosciutto, onions, chocolate, bourbon (which we had to add, it wasn’t right without it) and figs. And they went a little bit like this:
And how do they taste? Both of them are an extreme success, especially for first time bacon jammers. The first one was sweeter with more bacon depth, whereas the second one was richer, with a smoother meatier taste. Either way, they are both pretty special and we are stoked to have been able to do this. Both Lindsay and I agreed that it was super easy, it just took time. Here is where the fun starts, we can have a lot of fun with bacon jam. Next stop, I am going to send some in to Lee’s work and see how it goes, we might be able to recruit more bacon jam lovers yet!