Bacon Jam

1 poundsmoked bacon, pre-sliced
1large onion
1jalapeno pepper or to taste (optional)
2large cloves garlic
1/4 cupdark brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cupbrewed coffee
1/4 cupapple cider vinegar
1/4 cupbalsamic vinegar
1/4 cupmaple syrup
1/4 cupbourbon
1/4 cupwater
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
1/2 teaspoonred chili pepper flakes or to taste (optional)

Instructions


1. Preheat heavyweight saucepan or Dutch oven on medium heat. The pot's capacity should be around 3-quarts.

2. Prep work: Cut bacon into 1-inch strips. Cut onion in half, and then cut each half into 1/4-inch slices. Dice jalapeno pepper (for less heat, remove ribs and seeds). Chop garlic cloves.

3. Add bacon to pot. Fry until fat renders and bacon is lightly browned and beginning to crisp. Transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels and let drain. Pour off all but one tablespoon of bacon fat.

4. Add sliced onions and jalapeno peppers to pot. Sauté on medium heat until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

5. To onion, jalapeno and garlic mixture, add dark brown sugar, brewed coffee, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, bourbon, water, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine and deglaze pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add bacon and stir to combine. Mixture will be soupy. Reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until liquid becomes thick and syrupy.

6. Remove pan from stove. Cool for about 30 minutes.

7. Spoon mixture into food processor bowl. Pulse 3 times in 1-second pulses. Taste the jam. If it's too chunky, pulse 1 to 2 more times. Do not over-process. The jam should have chewy bits of bacon throughout.

8. Spoon bacon jam into glass jars with tight lids. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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