Bacon and Bourbon Jam
  • 500g smoked streaky bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried smoked chipotle peppers
  • 50ml maple syrup
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 150ml coffee (not instant)
  • 100ml bourbon
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  1. In a large non-stick frying pan, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and it’s beginning to crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan into a large saucepan, and pour off almost all the fat left in the original pan. Cook the onion in the remaining bacon fat until it is translucent and beginning to colour, then add the garlic and chipotle pepper and cook for a minute or two more. Tip the onion, garlic and chipotle out into the pan with the bacon, and add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated – about an hour. If it’s threatening to catch, add a little water.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool before placing it in a food processor and pulsing until finely chopped but not mushy. Spoon into a 324ml facetted jar.
  3. You can ring the changes by making this with peaty malt whisky or even rum, or of course leave the alcohol out altogether. The chipotle peppers pack a punch, so if you’re not fond of hot food or are planning to serve it to children, add just one or omit them altogether.
  4. Bacon jam will keep well in the fridge for up to four weeks. Serve it as a starter or light lunch with wholemeal toast, a few salad leaves and pickles to cut the richness. Dollop a little on a jacket spud for a speedy supper. Add a spoonful or two to give simple vegetable soups or spag bol a touch of luxury. Serve it as a side with barbequed burgers. Pop teaspoonfuls into pastry cases and top with snipped chives for a party canapé. Use it to sandwich seared scallops and discs of black pudding, or elevate a humble cheese sarnie to heavenly heights.
  5. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Martha Stewart made it, and suddenly everyone was talking about bacon jam. Give it a try and you’ll see why – this intensely savoury spread has a hint of sweetness and a touch of smoky bourbon, as well as a fierce chipotle kick. It keeps brilliantly, so makes a perfect present.