Bacon Rhubarb Jam

I will never forget the first time I had bacon jam (ok…I’m sounding dramatic), but really, for a lover of bacon, the flavor is quite amazing.  It was at a local restaurant called Iron Tap and they serve it on Pimento Cheese Bruschetta (OMG – so good) and what else could they serve it on, but their Bacon Jam Burger.  It left an impression…sweet bacon was the perfect compliment to the burger.

We decided that this week in the house was going to be all about ‘burgers’…all different kinds with different main ingredients.  I was meal planning and wondering what could liven up my turkey burger at the same time wondering how I was going to use up some rhubarb that wasn’t making into my cordial and the idea hit me…

BACON RHUBARB JAM!!!

I have not made any bacon jam before, but after thinking of the right balance of fat, sweet sugar, acid and salt…this condiment came together very well. We were very happy with this meal and how every part of it turned out. See Turkey Burger with Bacon Jam recipe for meal.

Patience will be key to getting this to the right consistency. And don’t forget to taste along the way.

Bacon Rhubarb Jam

Ingredients:

1 lb bacon

1 1/2 cup / 1.5 lb smashed and diced rhubarb

1 shallot, diced

2 Tbls cider vinegar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 Tbls honey

1/2 tsp fresh thyme

1/2 tsp orange zest

Dash red pepper flake

Juice of 1/2 orange

Dusting of garlic powder

1/4 cup water

Preparation:

Heat skillet on stove to medium-high heat. Cut bacon into about 1″ thick pieces (you can go smaller if you want smaller bites). When pan is to temp, add bacon. Cook for about 6 minutes until starting to crisp up.

While bacon is cooking, smash the rhubarb by using the flat side of your chef’s knife blade or the bottom of a pot or pan, applying pressure to loosen up and break into some of the fibrous rhubarb. Then dice smashed stalks into 1/2″ pieces.

Remove bacon from pan, reserving the bacon grease to start sauteing the shallot and rhubarb. Saute for approximately 4-5 minutes, until rhubarb softens and shallots caramelize. Deglaze with cider vinegar for 1 minute.

Add bacon back in the pan and top with brown sugar, honey, thyme, zest, pepper flake and juice of half an orange. Continue cooking, stirring every few minutes, until the consistency starts to resemble a thick jam and the bacon remains tender. You will start to notice when it’s ready when the jam takes on a shiny appearance.

If the jam gets too thick before bacon is fully cooked to your liking, thin with water and continue cooking, stirring frequently. When finished, sprinkle with a light dusting of garlic power and stir to combine.

Remove from heat. Serve right away while warm or store in sealed container in fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat before serving.

Happy Jamming!

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