Bacon Jam

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I know this sounds bizarre: smoky bacon simmered down with sweet maple syrup, tangy apple cider vinegar, dark coffee and of all things, chocolate to create a thick jam-like texture. This recipe is modified from one I found on allisoneats.com, but I really wanted to cut down on the amount of sugar and add some cinnamon and nutmeg to give the jam another dimension of flavor. The result is pretty awesome on just about everything and goes extremely well on top of a nice, juicy grass-fed burger. It takes a bit of time due to the simmering but other than that is pretty simple to make. You could also create this and leave out the chocolate which would make the bacon jam pair nicely with some sunny side up eggs.

Ingredients: 

1 pound good quality bacon (organic if you can find it)

1/2 an onion, diced

1/2 cup strong coffee

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut crystals (or dark brown sugar)

1 oz dark chocolate (at least 80%)

Directions:

1. Chop the bacon into large pieces. Sautee on medium in a heavy-bottomed pan until the pieces get brown but not crispy. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and drain.

2. Reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat (pour the rest into a small container and put in the fridge for future use). Sautee the onions for about 5 minutes until softened.

3. Add the remaining ingredients (including the bacon) to the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to simmer on very low heat for about 2 hours. Stir every 20-30 minutes.

4. When the mixture has thickened considerably (~2 hours), pour into a food processor and pulse until the consistency is still a bit chunky (think bacon bits).

5. Store in a container in the refrigerator. The jam may need to be heated before use to soften it up.

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