Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bacon Jam: Pig On A Baguette

I have a guilty secret. I have been keeping quiet for the past two months in fear that I would blurt it out without warning or proper fanfare; however, now I just feel like a greedy hoarder for not letting everyone in on it: Bacon Jam! For real! It exists!

Bacon jam might be the first good thing that has come out of peoples’ obsession with hourly web updates detailing what they are noshing on while sitting in front of their computer. I first stumbled upon these two beautiful words strung together on twitter, which lead to a deeper dive into a few blogs which had recipes for bacon jam, then… I turned to my stash of homemade bacon. A choir of angels sang out from the heavens and I knew how to fulfill this pork belly’s calling: Pork product in spreadable, edible form. Good God, man! Could it be as magical as it sounded?

Oh yes, it is pure nectar!

For my spin on it, I gave it a sort of Mayan-Mexican twist. Cocoa nibs (roasted cocoa beans) impart the essence of chocolate without adding any sweetness. The ancho and chipotle give it a bit of spice and smoky flavor, while the cinnamon adds subtle warmth. I used agave syrup (you can use honey as a substitute) which is a sweet syrup made from the cactus where tequila comes from… hmmmm maybe I should try a batch with a shot of tequila in the mix.

A smear of this smoky, spicy, bitter pork "pate" turns dignified guests into gluttons and beggars. After several bites and lots of moaning, an entrepreneur friend of mine immediately began conceiving of world condiment domination- move over ketchup, now bacon comes in a jar!

Pig On A Baguette

1 # bacon, cut into 1” pieces
1 onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or smoked paprika)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs, ground
¾ cup coffee
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup agave syrup (or honey)

1.       Dump bacon into a skillet and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is slightly crisp. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Pour out half of the bacon fat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min.
2.       Add the sugar, all of the spices and cocoa nibs and stir over heat for 1-2 minutes.
3.       Pour in coffee, vinegar and agave and simmer on low for about 3 hours. Add water during the cooking if the liquid gets too low.
4.       Transfer to a food processor and pulse until slightly smooth. I leave it a bit chunky with bacon bits. Serve with baguette and apple slices.

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