This great little BBQ joint opened on Chincoteague a couple of years ago. They have numerous wonderful specialty sandwiches, but if I was hard pressed I would have to say my favorite was “The Clipper”. It’s pulled pork, with a fresh fried boneless chicken breast on top, smothered in (get this), bacon jam. It was love at first bite. The sandwich is so large, it feeds you for about 3 days. Sadly, the place is seasonal, so you aren’t able to get this wonderous sandwich in the fall and winter months. I’d been thinking about recreating the bacon jam at home for over a year now. Well last week I finally broke down and took a swing at it, and it turned out wonderfully!
Seemed like the general consensus of the internet pointed to Not Quite Nigella’s recipe. It seemed like a winner to me. I knew the version I had at Woody’s contained bacon, brown sugar, and lots of caramelized onions. The coffee seemed like an interesting addition. Coffee is one of the main ingredients in Red Eye Gravy, which I love. Just like with chocolate, adding coffee doesn’t make it taste like coffee. It just melds with and intensifies the porkiness. I was a little skeptical of the addition of maple syrup, but went ahead and went with it anyways.
It is kind of time consuming. It took around 2 hours to cook down to the consistency I wanted. But, once I tasted it, I knew it was well worth the effort. The finished product is not greasy at all. I had expected a ton of fat to settle at the top when I had refrigerated it, but in the morning I was pleasantly surprised to find there was none! Draining most of the bacon grease before cooking the onions takes care of that issue. Since it’s cooked down so much, then pulsed in the food processor, it spreads on toast like a dream. With an over easy or poached egg, and a glass of orange juice it’s an ideal breakfast for the bacon lover without all the mess of frying bacon. It’s also wonderful spread on a crostinis for a quick appetizer.
Yields 1 pint
1 pound smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Sriracha or hot sauce
1 cup coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Black pepper to taste
In a dutch oven, fry the bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp. Remove to paper towel lined plate and set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease out of the pan.
Fry the onion and garlic in the rendered bacon fat on medium heat until translucent.
Add the bacon to the onions and garlic, and add the rest of the ingredients except for the water. Simmer for 2 hours adding 1/4 of a cup of water every 25-30 minutes or so, and stir regularly.
Jam is done when you can’t tell the onions from the bacon. Cool for about 15-20 minutes and then place in a food processor. Pulse for 2-3 seconds so that you leave some texture to the “jam”. Refrigerate up to two weeks.
Source: Adapted from Not Quite Nigella