Smoky Harissa and Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam

I first made bacon jam over a year ago when I lived in Denmark. For the sake of my health, I then tried to block it from my mind. I oscillate between thinking life is too short not eat bacon jam, and realising life will probably be shorter still after eating it. Bacon, and all manner of pork products traditionally constitute the staple diet for most Danes. The average Dane eats slightly more than my body weight in pork on a yearly basis. I’m not a huge fan personally. I don’t really buy into the bacon obsession that has been going on the last few years, where bacon is added to absolutely everything you can think of. That’s what cheese is for. But bacon jam is something else entirely. It hits all the right fat/salt/sugar notes that scientists tell us make up human cravings. It’s best served on a spoon, but if you fancy being sensible and controlled about it, it’s also good on baked potatoes with some creme fraiche. You can get slabs of smoked back bacon in Ireland in Lidl and Aldi for a reasonable price which are perfect for this. This recipe makes just over two standard jam jar sized portions of bacon jam which is really more than you can safely consume, but you can also use it to bribe/butter up friends and family. 

Ingredients

  • 600g smoky bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 65g brown sugar
  • 150ml coffee
  • 80ml red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 110g honey
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon harissa
  • 75ml red wine (optional)
  • olive oil

Method

  • Pan fry the bacon in a large saucepan over a medium heat with a little olive oil until crispy (about 5-8 minutes)
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.
  • Fry the onions in the saucepan until soft 5-7 minutes, and then add the garlic for 2 minutes.
  • I deglazed my pan with some wine along with the onion, but this is entirely optional.
  • Add the bacon back into the onion garlic mix.
  • Add in the sugar, coffee, vinegar, honey, paprika and harissa.
  • Simmer and cook until the whole thing is reduced and syrupy, around 30-45 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Use a stick blender to pulse the mixture into a coarse paste, and serve at room temperature.
  • If you have more self control than me, this will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

 

 

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