Buckle up and hold on because this meat sauce recipe is going to take you over mounds of bacon and onions and right down sugar-lane filled with sweet maple syrup and a beautifully rich balsamic vinegar!
Last year at this time I suggested DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract as a lovely gift-giving idea. Vanilla is still a wonderful gift idea, but it is best started around the first of November to be ready in December. You can still get vanilla started and just let recipients know it will be ready to use in January!
This year I am cranking it up a notch with Jack Bac Jam. This rich and luscious jam tops your favorite steak, chicken, pork, fish or even brats! It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks making it another spectacular and creative do-it-yourself gift.
There are many recipes for bacon jam floating around the internet. This recipe is my tried and true combination of ingredients. I live only a few miles from Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Often times we take guests on the fun, free tour and invariably they can’t wait to “sample a bit of Jack“. This bacon jam is laced with a bit of Jack Daniel’s sipping whiskey perfectly suited for serving to family and friends! If you aren’t inclined to use alcohol in your cooking, no problem. Just substitute an additional amount of balsamic vinegar in place of the 1/2 cup of Jack Daniel Whiskey.
This recipe makes about 3 cups of jam – enough for 6 jelly jars of gift giving goodness or enough for a platter full of steaks! It can also be doubled or tripled and cooked in a slow cooker for 3 to 4 hours.
I only wish you could smell the fragrance coming from my kitchen as this jam simmered on the stove. It certainly drew my sous-chef dish-washing mom exclaiming “Wow! I can smell that and it is wonderful!”
When my Chief Steak Eater arrived in the house before supper he proclaimed a 5-star dinner before he took a bite. After experiencing Jack Bac Jam, it was all thumbs up around our dinner table.
There is no canning involved here. Just cook up the jam, store in airtight jars in the refrigerator and microwave or heat on the stove when ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks and in the freezer up to 3 months.
Happy Holiday Baking!
See Full Recipe Directions below.
For more information about storing bacon jam check out this website: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/food_nutrition/canning/tips/21storing_bacon_jam.html
The Birth of Jesus Christ “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town.” Luke 2:1-3
- 1½ pounds of bacon
- 2 cups Vidalia onion, or any sweet onion, medium-fine chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper* Optional
- ½ cup Jack Daniel Whiskey
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Cook the bacon until crispy. Bacon can be fried in a skillet on the stove, in batches in the microwave, or my personal favor, on a baking sheet in a 400 degree F. oven.
- Transfer to paper towels to drain excess fat off. Set aside.
- Pulse onions in the food processor or cut them by hand to a medium chop.
- In a large skillet place 1 tablespoon of bacon grease heating over medium heat. Add onions to the pan, cook until they start to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for about one more minute.
- Add the chili powder and stir.
- Increase heat to high and add the Jack Daniels Whiskey (carefully) and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, stir and scrape the pan as you continue boiling for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add vinegar and brown sugar, continue to boil for about 3 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife cut the bacon into small pieces or crumble it by hand.
- Toss the bacon into the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, the mixture will thicken turning into luscious jam.
- Remove from stove and let sit a few minutes. Drain excess fat off the bacon by blotting with a paper towel or spooning off if needed.
- If the mixture is chunkier than you like, a couple pulses in a food processor will thin it down. I prefer it chunkier.
- Transfer to jars and store in the fridge.
- Heat it up in the microwave whenever you want to top something with the jam!
The cayenne pepper is optional but adds a nice kick!
If you aren't inclined to use alcohol in your cooking, no problem. Just substitute an additional amount of balsamic vinegar in place of the ½ cup Jack Daniels.