I recently read in a magazine that bacon is considered America’s favorite food. Hyperbole aside, this jam would make a convincing case for that claim. There are numerous variations of this Southern US recipe. I like this because it’s simple to make. If you like, you can cook this in a crock pot, on high for 3 to 4 hours–but then, you can’t taste it as it cooks, and that’s an important aspect of cooking for me. Try this on toast, biscuits, as a sandwich sauce, with french fries, stirred into grains, or just out of the jar…

1 lb bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 c apple cider vinegar or other vinegar (balsamic is very good here)
1/2 c brown sugar
14 c maple syrup or agave
1/2 c brewed coffee or coffee substitute or 1/4 c worcestershire sauce

1. In a heavy pot, like a Dutch oven, cook bacon until brown but not crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bacon from pot. If there’s a lot of fat, you may want to remove some. This is a personal preference. Some people like to go whole hog, as it were, and keep all the bacon elements in.

2. Add diced onions to the fat and cook for 5 minutes or so until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add remaining ingredients except cooked bacon and bring to the boil. Return cooked bacon to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should be thick and syrupy. Some recipes call for cooking as long as one and a half hours. Up to you.

3. Remove pot from heat. Let the jam cool some, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until the bacon is finely chopped. You want a chunky texture, not a paste, more like a chutney.

4. Store in a jar in the fridge. Should keep for about a month, if it lasts that long.