I celebrated my birthday last week – and what better way to celebrate than with bacon?! So I made bacon jam. I’m pretty sure if you start your year off with bacon jam and coffee, you are setting yourself up for nothing but glory and success. There will also be chocolate and shenanigans, so my week of birthday celebration will be well-rounded.
I ate some delicious brunch at Snooze with my momma, went to my favorite cooking store and stared at pretty pots, pans, and kitchen appliances, taught class, went to the gym (burpees and running – what better birthday gift?), practiced making crepes, and drank too much beer at the Mayor. All in all, one of my favorite birthdays! Never mind the ridiculous leg soreness. Burpees really are the gift that keeps on giving. But it feels good to get back into exercising… I’ve been quite deterred by injuries over the last 6 weeks and I like that I can be active again. It makes me happy!
I went to Whole Foods and bought some high quality bacon. Cause it’s my birthday!! Also because pork is probably the most poorly handled meat out there and it is worth it to me to buy food that is treating ethically and not fed a whole bunch of crap. Part of the reason I went vegan was because I couldn’t afford good quality meat. I didn’t want to eat a whole bunch of crap… but I don’t think I did myself any favors. It’s not about perfection… sometimes it really is just about “good enough”.
Anyway, bacon jam. Delicious bacon-y, maple syrupy goodness. I did not even know bacon jam was a thing until a few weeks ago and I think it’s safe to say that my life has been changed for the better. My inspiration came from this recipe, this recipe, and this recipe.
Bacon jam in progress.
16-18 ounces of delicious bacon. Use high quality here – it’s so worth it.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup water
2 dried chipotle chiles, soaked and somewhat de-seeded (depending on your spice preference – I love spicy food!)
1 Starbucks Via packet
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Cut your bacon up into chunks and fry it ’til it’s close to crispy. Place on paper towel to drain and save that bacon fat for later cooking.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, whisk it all together and let simmer for a minute or two. Add your bacon and cook on low for 1-2 hours, until it is thick and syrupy, stirring occasionally.
When it cools just a bit, add to your food processor and pulse a couple times. You want bacon jam, not puree, so take care not to overdo it.
Put that sh*t on everything. Or store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. Share with your friends. Or don’t. I put it on eggs, egg muffins, crepes, pancakes, roasted butternut squash, burgers, roasted peppers…. essentially everything that I ate at home this week. Don’t judge me.