Friday, March 28, 2014

Boozy maple bacon jam

boozy bourbon maple bacon jam

Boozy maple bacon jam. Yes, you heard me right.

This is my second post this week in which I think the title says it all and if I didn't write another word about it but instead simply gave you the recipe, you'd be perfectly happy.

I'm an advocate of homecooking for healthier eating and, more importantly, eating real food rather than prepackaged, only-microwave-cooking-required crap that is full of chemicals (and yes, I'm not perfect and occasionally indulge in Nutella but I also haven't eaten a bite of fast food in five years).

Luckily, bacon is real food, as regular readers know that I have a weakness for it and tend to throw a bit of it into nearly everything (including bacon oatmeal cookies -- yes, I went there). And I refuse to jump on the bacon-is-so-last-year bandwagon (freakin' hipsters, raining on my parade).

Yet you may notice that I haven't been packing on the bacon recipes much in 2014 (there's actually only been one, can you believe it?). Time to rectify that.

Happily, Katie from Healthy Seasonal Recipes invited me to take part in her Pure Maple link party to celebrate maple season -- and we all know that nothing goes better with maple syrup than bacon (well, I hope you know this -- it's a fact). And, even though the sap is running here in Vermont, it's still freakin' cold and snowy, so why not throw in a little bourbon to warm us all up?

(Bacon is never made worse by the addition of bourbon. This is another fact.)

Oooh! I can't believe I haven't yet mentioned the best part: you can make this boozy maple bacon jam in the slow cooker.

 Yes! Which means this one meets all The Ninj's stringent criteria for a favorite recipe:
  1. Must be made from real food so as to remain reasonably healthy
  2. Must be delicious
  3. Must be easy
See how I just turned boozy maple bacon jam practically into health food? Yeah, you're welcome.

What I love about this maple bacon jam is that a little goes a long way. Taste a little bit and you'll see what I mean. It's savory and addictive but also just sweet enough to prevent you from just eating it all up with a spoon in one sitting.

Trust me: you want this to last!

Now, about how to use the jam -- other than just eating it a tiny bit at a time with a tiny spoon. My favorite? I spread it on naan or pizza dough, then top it with arugula, tomatoes and cheese for a savory-sweet pizza that makes a great dinner or, sliced very thinly, a delicious party appetizer.

boozy bourbon maple bacon jam

This jam is also fantastic when paired with manchego and dried fruit on a cheese plate. Or add it to your favorite grilled cheese panini to give it a little kick.

Of course, there's no reason why you can't simply schmear it on a piece of baguette and call it lunch. Perfection.

How would you use this boozy maple bacon jam? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Check out these awesome maple recipes (plus lots more below my recipe)  from my fellow bloggers in this link party! 

Slow Cooker Boozy Maple Bacon Jam

(adapted from Everyday Food)
As written, this recipe yields about 1 pint of jam -- I pack it into 2 half-pint jars and pop one in the freezer for future use.

1 to 1 1/4 pounds thick-cut bacon
1 sweet onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I always use Grade B)
3/4 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup bourbon

Lay the strips of bacon on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until done. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and spoon out about 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat; place in a skillet. Let the bacon cool until easy to handle. Break into small pieces and set aside.

Heat the fat in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the vinegar, sugar, cayenne, maple syrup and coffee and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked bacon and bourbon.

Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook UNCOVERED on HIGH for about 3-4 hours (much of the liquid will have cooked off). Transfer to a food processor and pulse until it reaches a jammy consistency (you be the judge). Avoid over processing and making the mixture too smooth or you will lose the chunky, bacony texture.

Store in jars in the refrigerator for several weeks or freeze.
-- print recipe --


  1. WOW. Another one to add to my list of must-tries!

  2. My mouth is watering just reading this post. Amazing! I think I need a batch of this ASAP. And I love the bit of bourbon. Bourbon makes everything better. Like a lot better!

  3. I can think of about 20 ways I'd want to eat this, including straight from the spoon. Yum!

  4. Okay, you got my attention! Would make a tasty BLT sangwich (as us Italians pronounce it)! Guess, I will have to buy some bourbon. :-)

  5. Ummm can I just move into your kitchen? It's like you looked right inside my heart and found exactly what it wanted in life.

  6. Ok...I'm thinking sharp cheddar cheese panini with roasted apples and your bacon jam...Bam!

    So glad you started a email newsletter....something is terribly wrong with facebook...I don't see ANYTHING anymore! They suck!

  7. I was about to say you had me at boozy. But then you had me again at maple. By the time you got to bacon, I was a goner!

  8. Bacon, maple, and bourbon? I'm in. 'nuff said!!

  9. Oh my goodness bacon jam?!?! Where has this been all my life?!?!?! Looks SO good! I'm thinking a serious bacon jam and egg/cheese sandwich!!!

  10. This is exactly what I have been looking for! Can not wait to put this into motion in my kitchen!!!!

  11. Is there any way I can process this for later use?

    1. I can't safely offer you any processing instructions because I haven't done it. But, as I mentioned, this recipe freezes really, really well so you can just pop it into the freezer for later use. Enjoy!