The term is actually a little misleading. When I was frying the bacon for this, my husband called in from another room and asked what I was making with bacon. I said, “bacon jam.” His reply? “That sounds disgusting.” This is not jam, per se, but actually a caramelized bacon and onion spread that has been infused with fabulous flavors along the way. Once it was finished and I declared it fit for tasting, we spread it on slices of ciabatta bread and dug in. We were both in heaven, and he said he couldn’t believe how delicious it was. The taste was totally mind-blowing, and I had to stop myself from eating the whole jar and an entire loaf of bread.
Bacon can have that affect.
This is supremely easy to make. Are you ready? First, fry bacon until it’s crisp, then remove it with a slotted spoon. Add sliced onions, shallots and garlic to the rendered bacon fat and let them caramelize for about 10 minutes. Then, add the bacon back in, along with coffee, vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, allspice and chili powder. Let the whole mixture simmer away until it’s super thick and dark, then pulse it a few times in a food processor and, voila!
While we ate this slathered on plain bread, I could think of a million uses for this little jar of deliciousness. Perhaps a surprise addition to a cheese plate, an option alongside fruit preserves with baked brie, a substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches… It would also make a great hostess gift!
Whatever you do, don’t be turned off by the name… this is actually one of the most amazing bacon creations I’ve ever had!
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, shallot and garlic to the rendered fat in the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is completely softened, about 10 minutes. Return the bacon to the pot, then stir in the coffee, water, vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, allspice and chili powder. Bring the mixture to a simmer (lower the heat if you see that it's actually boiling) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and a rubber spatula or wooden spoon leaves a distinct trail when dragged across the bottom of the pot, 1 to 1½ hours.
Remove from the heat and allow the bacon mixture to cool for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to the work bowl of a food processor. Discard any excess fat in the pot. Pulse the bacon mixture until finely chopped, about 5 pulses, or to desired consistency. Store the jam in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The jam is best served at room temperature.