This bacon marmalade is great eaten directly from the jar with a spoon, but it’s better served on crusty bread with goat cheese, and even better smeared on toast with heirloom tomatoes, homemade mayonnaise, and butter lettuce. This really takes your average BLT to a new level.
By Bria Helgerson
Two words: bacon marmalade. I could just stop this post right there, because if you are anything like me, you will hear those two words and immediately stop what you are doing to make a big batch of it.
- 1½ lbs thick cut applewood smoked bacon, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 large vidalia onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup white wine
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- ¼ cup coffee
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- large pinch ground cloves
- small pinch ground nutmeg
- salt and lots of fresh ground pepper to taste
- In a heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, saute the bacon slowly until just crisp. Don't cook the bacon too fast or it can burn or over cook and become crumbly. Remove the bacon to a paper towel -lined plate and drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until soft and starting to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes until garlic is soft but not yet browning.
- Add the white wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced a bit, about 3-5 minutes, add the sugar, coffee, molasses, syrup, allspice, paprika, cayenne, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Add the bacon back to the pot, bring it up to a boil, then reduce heat to low so that the mixture is on a gentle simmer and cook for about an hour to an hour and a half, until the marmalade is thick and sticky. It will thicken more as it cools.
- Store in jars or sealed container in fridge for a week or two. It also freezes very well. Before using, you can pop it in the microwave just for about 15 seconds to loosen it up a bit and be spreadable.
- Serve on bread with lettuce and tomato