Bacon Jam

Yields 2 ¾ cups

I’m on a health kick at the moment, pretty exclusively focused on undoing the impressive, red wine tyres around my tummy and chin.

And whilst, as I get further and further into my regime and more and more committed to it – and cognisant that the calories I am eating are subtracted from the calories I am burning at the park walking the dog – I still have a few vices once in a while. (Including, unfortunately, the culprit whose handiwork got me to where I am now: red wine!).

Another such vice – once a fortnight on a Saturday lunch – is a burger. Starting with Neil Perry’s Burger, I’m slowly making my way through a veritable number of burger recipes and rewarding myself for long walks and cutting back on bread, wine and snacks.

I was up in Newcastle with my good mate Josh and I came across a peanut butter and jelly burger. Aware that this would either be terrible, a none-event or life-changing, I had no choice.

Peanut butter and jelly aren’t the only odd-fellows. The recipe calls for bacon jam, something I hadn’t heard of.

A quick search and Martha Stewart and Nigella are falling over themselves. And so it begins.

To wrap up, the burger itself was a bit of a non-event. I think that if I had added mayonnaise, it might have been interesting, though as it was, it was dry and slightly dull.

But wow, the bacon jam. Rich, sweet, sour. And spicy, What a relish!

In a sterilised jar, given that bacon is already cured, it should be able to sit on the counter like any jam, though my batch is in the fridge. Given my current, fitness trajectory, I can’t say I will be eating much of it, though when the occasion arises, the bacon jam will be the first to know!

This recipe is Martha Stewarts.


750gm bacon, sliced into 1cm pieces
2 c shallots, finely chopped (3 large or 8 small shallots)
4 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground mustard
½ c bourbon
¼ c maple syrup
1/3 c sherry vinegar
1/3 c packed light-brown sugar


  1. Spread half the bacon in a single layer in a large frypan and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned. Around 20 – 25 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Remove fat, repeat with remaining bacon, reserving browned bits and 1 tbsp fat in pan.
  2. Add shallots and garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until translucent: around 5 minutes.
  3. Add chilli powder, ginger and mustard and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high and add the bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits.
  4. Add vinegar and brown sugar and return to the boil.
  5. Add reserved bacon and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze: around 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 1 hour and up to 4 weeks.

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