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Tuesday, April 06, 2021

How ya like me now, bitches? I’ve got bacon jam and you don’t.

That’s right. I said bacon jam. What evil hath Top Chef’s Kevin Gillespie wrought? Fear that man. And now, you should fear me too. Don’t believe me, ask my arteries.

I have no idea how close this is to Kevin’s. Probably not very. The internets went all apeshit from the moment Kevin unleashed this delicious abomination, and the Googles list probably a hundred takes on it. As is my usual wont, I got the jist of about 6 or 7 of ’em, then just did what I wanted. The result follows…

A 24 oz pack of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
(You could go with a pound, but you’ll realize later why a 24 oz pack will come in handy.)
2 medium to large onions
(White, yellow, red, whatever. I love onions, so I used big ones.)
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of black coffee
About 1/3 cup of brown sugar
About 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
About 1/4 cup of maple syrup
Sriracha a.k.a. cock sauce (droooool…)
A shitload of black pepper
Smoked paprika and allspice to taste

Slice your bacon into squares and fry them up in a dry pan over medium-high heat until not-quite-done.
 

Meantime, slice up your onions into thin strips.

Remove the bacon to drain on some paper towels. I poured about half the rendered bacon fat out of the pan. I didn’t see anybody else mention doing this, but it just looked like a hell of a lot of fat. This stuff is evil enough without reserving ALL the fat. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan worked really well for me.

Anyway, drop the heat to medium-low and add your onions to the pan with the bacon fat, and caramelize the shit out of ’em. My guess is that it took about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Don’t leave the heat too high or the onions will fry.

When the onions are caramelized, add the garlic and your liquids. Apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and coffee.

Simmer that for a couple minutes, then add your bacon back to the pan, along with your brown sugar and spices. Black pepper is quite possibly my favorite thing in the world, and the metric shitload is the smallest unit of measure I recognize. But everything here is to taste. Next time, I’ll use a little more sriracha and I might omit the allspice. I’m not sure it was necessary.

Here’s the part where you realize why you went with the 24 oz pack of bacon rather than some chump-ass :pounder: . Because you’ve been picking off the pile of draining bacon the entire time the onions were caramelizing. Don’t even try to deny it. You probably haven’t whittled it down a full (pre-cooked) 8 ounces, but when’s the last time you ruined a recipe because there was too much bacon? I’m not sure that particular sequence of words even makes sense.

Stir to combine, then let simmer for a long long time. I went about 2.5 hours or so, stirring every 15-20 minutes. You might need to add extra liquid every now and then, but ultimately you want most of the liquid reduced out. When it’s nice and dark and ugly, remove it from the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes or so. Then stick it all into a food processor and spin it up until it’s a chunky paste. I ended up with roughly two 12 oz Mason jars worth. Then make like G. Love and stick it in the fridge.

Spread liberally on the nearest edible or semi-edible surface and prepare to say “holy shit” repeatedly. Do not offer this to anyone who you don’t want to immediately start taking their clothes off.

Sweet, spicy, smoky, porky, fatty… what’s not to love? Tell your cardiologist to stick it. What does that asshole know anyway?