Tomato Bacon Jam ~ Tangy, sweet, and oh so bacon-y, a jam unlike any jam you’ve ever had. Great with cheese, crackers, or basically eating right out of the jar. Ten years ago or so I was in Portland for business when I found myself with some downtime. I popped into a restaurant during happy hour. All the appetizers were $1 during the two-hour time frame. Now I know the purpose of happy hour is lure people in for cheap food so they buy more booze. It’s a concept I accept and embrace. But back then, I didn’t drink alcohol, so the lure for me was awesome food for cheap.
One of the appetizers I had there was flatbread with chicken and this odd item called ‘tomato bacon jam’. Tomato bacon jam was a curious thing to me. I hated raw tomatoes, but loved them cooked. And who doesn’t love bacon (shhh, vegetarians and vegans.)?
That stuff was amazing. But after I ate it and came home, I promptly forgot about its existence. Until a few years ago. It was made on a cooking show and I filed it in the back of my mind. For about the last 3 months, I’ve been looking for a reason to make it. In a couple of days you’ll see how I used it, but to be honest, it is so good that it can be eaten in a variety of ways. I served it with cheese and crackers, but later this week it’s going on a hot dog next. That I am most looking forward to. When I processed it, I just did a rough blend, so there are still some chunks of bacon, onion, and tomato in the jam. It tastes great cold from the fridge or served warm. This made about a quart. This is a recipe that can easily be played with. If you like things spicy, add some chipotle or cayenne pepper. If you like really sweet items, add a bit more brown sugar.
To work out how best to make this I turned to my fellow foodie, master jam maker, and more importantly, friend Liz Butcher of Butcher’s Bunches. She talked me through my ideas as I have zero jam making experience, so she gets a nod towards this recipe.
Tomato Bacon Jam
- 1 lb thick-cut bacon
- 2-28 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 2 sweet onions; chopped
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3 large garlic cloves , chopped
In a heavy bottom pot, like a dutch oven, cook the bacon.
Once the bacon is cooked, remove it and set it aside; reserve the drippings in the pot.
Cook onions in the bacon fat (if there wasn't at least 2 tablespoons of renderings, add oil or butter) for about 15 minutes over medium. They will begin to soften and brown.
While the onions are cooking, chop the bacon.
Once the onions are nearing cooked, add the garlic and bacon, mix well.
Add the tomatoes stirring them into the onions and bacon.
Add the cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, paprika, and pepper, mix well.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat then lower to medium and maintain a simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Allow it to cook down and reduce. Cook for another hour over medium low heat, most of the liquid should evaporate, if not, cook longer until it has evaporated.
Once cooked down, use an immersion blender or add to a blender or food processor. Blend until it reaches the desired consistency.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.