• 3 lbs. bacon
  • 4 whole large, yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I also used sweet onions with success)
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. very strong, brewed, black coffee
  • 1/2 c. pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. freshly ground black pepper

This may sound disgusting but has a great flavor and is fantastic on crackers, grilled cheese, omelets…. anywhere you’d like just a little bacon flavor.  I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and have now made 3 batches in the last 2 weeks.  It was a great Christmas gift for friends, co-workers and family.

For slicing the onions, you could easily cut them by hand but I found the easiest, fastest and least tearful method was to use the food processor with the thinnest slicing blade.  It makes really quick work of a potentially painful task.

Cut the bacon slices into 1-inch strips.  Add the bacon to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Cook the bacon, stirring frequently until the bacon is browned.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.  Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings to a heat-proof jar with a tight fitting lid.  (The drippings are great for flavoring other dishes later.  If that’s not your thing, drain them into a jar and, once cooled, throw into the freezer.  Once it’s frozen, you can easily dump it in the garbage with less possibility of a major mess.)

Place the Dutch oven back on the medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic.  Stir will and reduce the heat to medium.  Continue to cook the onion mixture for 8 or so minutes, until the onions are mostly translucent.  Add the remaining ingredients (not the bacon, though), stir well and reduce the heat to low.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes.  After 2 minutes, stir the browned bacon back into the onions and liquid.  (This may take a little longer than 2 minutes.  I let it boil until there was a slight reduction in the liquid and then added the bacon back in.)

Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking, adding 1/4 c. water if the mixture seems to be drying out.  When the onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy, remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Transfer the contents from the Dutch oven to the work bowl of your food processor, which as been fitted with a chopping blade.  Fit the lid in place and pulse several times or until the jam has a spreadable consistency.

Place into a jar (or jars) or a container with a tight fitting lid.  Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

As I mentioned before, you can serve it cold, on crackers/bread or heat it up!  Add it to a grilled cheese, or put it on top of a baked brie.  The maple syrup and bacon flavors complement the creamy brie.

Each batch made about 6 cups, which worked well to give as gifts in smaller 4 oz. mason jars.