If you’re a fan of bacon you probably don’t just like it, you love it. And that’s for good reason – it’s glorious. This recipe celebrates everything that’s excellent about the salty pork ingredient, and as Sydney’s Brent Templeton says, it’s so versatile.
“This is a great condiment to add to a burger, chicken schnitzel or sausage sizzle, but it is just as satisfying on its own with fresh crusty bread. And a cold beer, of course,” says the Sydney Boon Cafe chef.
The jam comes from the recently released Ethical Omnivore by butchers Laura Dalrymple and Grant Hilliard of Sydney’s Feather and Bone. The book has 60 nose-to-tail recipes that encourage sustainable meat eating, as well as a bunch of articles exploring aspects of the Australian meat industry, such as the misleading labelling around free-range eggs and chickens.
Templeton has created two versions of the recipe: a fruitier jam, made with a base of red wine and red-wine vinegar, and a darker caramel jam that’s enhanced with coffee.
“The red onions, red wine and red-wine vinegar [option one] gives it a slightly fruity flavour. The brown onions, black coffee and malt vinegar [option two] gives it a dark, almost bitter caramel note. Take your pick as to which version you prefer.”
Brent Templeton’s bacon jam
Makes about 800g (3 cups)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
500g smoked bacon rashers, very thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g (3½ cups lightly packed) soft brown sugar
Option one: fruity jam
500g (2¾ cups) red onions, thinly sliced
125ml (1/2 cup) red wine
1½ tbsp red wine vinegar
Option two: caramel jam
500g (2¾ cups) brown onions, thinly sliced
125ml (1/2cup) black coffee
1½ tbsp malt vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp and golden and the fat has rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Add onion to the bacon fat (red onions make it fruitier; brown onions more caramel-flavoured) and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until starting to caramelise. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 to 10 minutes, until soft.
Return bacon to pan and stir in sugar. Add red wine and red-wine vinegar for the fruity version, or coffee and malt vinegar for the caramel version, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn’t catch on the pan, for about 15 minutes or until it becomes sticky and jammy.
Refrigerated, bacon jam will keep for up to a month.
This is an edited extract from The Ethical Omnivore by Laura Dalrymple and Grant Hilliard of ethical and sustainable Sydney butcher Feather and Bone. Photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.