After watching one of my newest cooking show addictions, Meat & Potatoes (Food Network) this weekend, I was left inspired and motivated. I’ve said before how much I like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri and Meat & Potatoes follows that same guideline, but amps it up a bit by visiting fine-dining establishments as well as the hole-in-the-wall kind of places. And then of course, the focus is on all types of meat & potatoes. This weekend’s episode showed the awesome Josh Henderson of Skillet Street Food making his bacon jam which he serves on burgers with Gorgonzola cheese. “Bacon JAM?” I hear you ask. Yes! Bacon Jam.
I’ve heard people talking about bacon jam for quite some time now but never really gave it that much thought until I saw how relatively easy it seemed to be on Meat & Potatoes. Also, the fact that he served it on one of the juiciest burgers with creamy Gorgonzola helped! I promised to try it and did so yesterday. I was a little nervous as I had no recipe to work off of and just followed by instincts but I can say with confidence that it was a massive success. I would describe bacon jam as a meatier, smokier and saltier version of onion marmalade/jam.
I thought that I would have to skim the fat off as bacon is so fatty but I didn’t even need to. However, bacon differs so if you find your jam to be very oily, just skim the fat off with a metal spoon. That really is the only problem I could foresee with making bacon jam. It’s simple and easy to make, tastes just awesome and these burgers were, in my husband’s opinion, the best burgers I had ever made (and the best he’s ever had). I’m sure Rahm Fama (the host of M&P), would’ve approved!
for the bacon jam (Makes approximately 2 cups of jam)
500g (17.64 ounces) streaky bacon, roughly chopped
4 large red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup (60ml (2.03 fluid ounces)) Balsamic vinegar
1 cup soft brown sugar (I used Muscavado)
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
for the burgers
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g (17.64 ounces) lean beef mince (ground beef)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
thin slices of red onion
- To make the jam, fry the bacon and onions together until they start sticking to the bottom of the pot and start caramelising slightly. Add the garlic and bay leaf and fry for another minute.
- Add the smoked paprika, salt and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.
- Add the sugar, apple juice and water.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved and allow to simmer on high heat for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat down and let the jam simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. (The liquid that remains in the post should be able to cover a spoon easily but not be too syrupy or thick)
- With a hand blender (or in a food processor), blend the jam until there are no big chunks of onion/bacon left.
- Carefully transfer the jam into a sterilised jam jar and allow to cool before placing in the fridge. (Best eaten at room temperature)
- To make the burgers, fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft and translucent. Then combine all the ingredients for the patties and mix well.
- Form 4 patties and fry in a large, cast-iron frying pan/skillet for 3-4 minutes per side until the patties are cooked to your liking.
- Serve the cooked patties on the fresh breadrolls with bacon jam, lettuce, red onion and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.