BACON JAM A TROIS WITH SYRAH
One of the most versatile things you can do is create condiments, sauces, gastriques, chutneys, reductions, glazes, etc for multiple culinary enhancing purposes. One of my favorites is Bacon Jam. Bacon has reached epic popularity in current culinary trends. You can see it used in practically everything, including cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and so on. Bacon Jam is one of the front-runners among the myriad of current trends and is a very versatile condiment to have around. So to pay homage to this simple savory jam, we will first go over the basics for making the jam, along with a printable recipe at the end of the blog, and then I'm going to show you three super simple ways to use it...
BACON JAM A TROIS!
Making Bacon Jam is super simple.
- Render the fat out of the bacon - simply cook the bacon until soft and much of the fat is rendered out.
- Reserve a tablespoon of the fat along with the bits in the pan to sauté the onions and garlic until soft
- Add the vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer
- Once the sauce is simmering, mince the reserved bacon and add to the sauce
- Simmer low uncovered (stirring occasionally) for 3-4 hours or until the jam is dark and rich in color and reduced down to a thick syrup. It will thicken more as it cools.
Now that you have your basic jam, let's talk about ways to use it.
- It is wonderful as a simple condiment on a cheese board
- Use it as a savoury/sweet jam for cold or hot sandwiches
- Toss it with cooked or raw veggies - imagine Brussels Sprouts!
And for today's illustration - three simple appetizers you can create using bacon jam
From left to right:
- Bacon Jam and Cream Cheese Stuffed Roasted Poblano Peppers
- Mini Sirloin Slider with Bacon Jam
- Bacon Jam and Goast Cheese Stuffed Roasted Portobella Mushrooms
The idea with these three appetizers is to keep them simple and explosive with flavour. I always like to assemble all my ingredients before starting. In Culinary terms, this is referred to as Mis en Place.
As with all three methods, this is super simple and relies on you (as the cook) to mix your stuffing to taste.
- Halve and clean the peppers
- Toast a handful of pine nuts and then mince
- Dice a handful of red onions
- Diced red tomatoes
- Cup or so of cream cheese
- Bacon Jam to flavour
- Bread crumbs toasted in butter for topping
Simply mix your selected ingredients together and fill the cleaned cavities of the halved peppers. Sprinkle each stuffed pepper with the toasted bread crumbs. Reserve for baking.
- Pull caps from mushrooms and make sure the center of each mushroom is clean and ready to be topped with filling
- Goat cheese
- Bacon Jam
- Minced roasted red peppers
Simply mix your ingredients to taste, add a touch of salt if needed and mound on top of each mushroom cap, and top with some of the toasted bread crumbs. Reserve for baking.
When ready: Heat oven to 400°F. Place Poblanos and Portobellos on a baking sheet and bake in oven for about 20 mins. Watch them and remove from oven when the mushrooms are softened and the bread crumbs are starting to turn golden brown.
BACON JAM SLIDER SIRLOINS
So, while the Portobellos and Poblano peppers are roasting (about 20 mins), it's time to do the sliders for the completion of the a Trois. Let's take it step-by-step.
First butter and grill your slider buns, and set them aside...
Next, grill your sirloin patties... I simply dusted mine with some sea-salt and cracked pepper. These will grill fast since they are small. Be prepared to top with the Mancheco cheese at the end...
Pull the patties from the grill and start assembling, starting with the Bacon Jam of course...
From here, use your create juices to complete your slider. I included red onions, cherries tomatoes, wild baby greens and a touch of fig jam and stoney mustard.
And Viola!, you have a wonderful appetizer display of Bacon Jam a Trois...
And now for the VERY IMPORTANT finishing touch - the wine pairing...
I chose a classic California Syrah for this because, well because Syrah and smoke and spice and savoury bacon are a foregone conclusion in wine pairing. We have an astounding Syrah in our current Mood Wine Club. This is what we say about the Bien Nacido Vineyards Syrah on our website...
When Jake was first learning about wine he noticed that many of Santa Barbara County's best wines used fruit from the Bien Nacido vineyard, including Foxen and Richard Longoria. The vineyard is north of Los Olivos, closer to Santa Maria, and for years it continues to produce highly sought-after fruit quality. Now the vineyard is releasing some of its own wine, and we have it. If you love Syrah, this won't disappoint.
Now you have the Bacon Jam recipe and three simple appetizers, along with an astounding wine pairing, all that's left is for you to pour a glass of something, don your apron and get to cooking!