Bourbon Bacon Jam {recipe}

bourbon bacon jam and charcuterie board
We weren’t kidding when we said we were PARTYING it up to celebrate our partner Thermador’s 100 Year anniversary! We’ve been designing party boards — think charcuterie, cheese, and crudité platters of EPIC proportions — all week for happy, celebratory gatherings of all kinds!bourbon bacon jam and charcuterie board

And we also weren’t kidding last week during our epic vegetable and hummus post when we said we’d be focusing a little more this week on our carnivorous guests! We call the meat section of our Party Boards “charcuterie,” which is the French catch-all word for cured and preserved meats and includes everything from bacon, hams, sausages, and pâtés. “Salumi” is an Italian word for essentially the same things.

We tend to lean on the experts behind the charcuterie/salumi and cheese counters at our favorite shops when it comes time to pick the specific cured, dried, and salted meats we’re going to serve, but we generally like to have at least something from each of the following “groups”:

  • Prosciutto: we refer to everything that looks like a whole pork leg and shaved into super thin ribbons of ham as “prosciutto,” though the word is actually pretty specific to Italian dry-cured ham. There are other types from Italy, and jamón is similar, from Spain.
  • Salami, mild
  • Hard dried sausage, spicy, like a pepperoni, soppressata, or chorizo (our favorite!)
  • Bresaola: like ham, but dried and cured beef
  • Beef jerky: I know this sounds weird and a little trailer park, but if you get a really well-made jerky from a good cut of beef, it will be the first thing to go from your charcuterie board.
  • Pâté: you’ve probably seen traditional French preparations of pâté, which is essentially any kind of processed meat and fat made into a spread. Recently, we’ve replaced a traditional pâté with another kind of cooked, spreadable meat, BACON JAM in little jars.

bourbon bacon jam recipe

Yes, you read that right, Bacon Jam, as in spread, like jam, made of bacon. We serve ours in little jars alongside charcuterie on boards, but bacon jam is pretty terrific as a spread on sandwiches, it pairs really well with mild creamy cheeses like Brie for grilled cheese, and if you’re not already having bacon with your eggs for breakfast, just serve Bacon Jam. If you’re ambitious enough (we’re not. yet.) make homemade Pop-Tarts with the Bacon Jam inside, and maple vanilla glaze outside!

There are versions of Bacon Jam in jars you can buy off the store shelves (or order online), but we like to make ours at home because not only is it DEAD EASY, but we also like to add some very generous splashes of Bourbon to our recipe.

bourbon bacon jam recipe

A basic Bacon Jam can be made with a few ingredients, sans the Bourbon, but why? Bourbon has a smoky quality to itself, so it just adds to the smoky flavor of the bacon. We also add a little bit of maple syrup as a sweet balance to all the others tastes.

Make this Bourbon Bacon Jam. Pick up some charcuterie, cheese, and produce from your local farmers’ markets. Assemble an epic Party Board. Gather friends. Pour wine. Celebrate something! Anything! Nothing!bacon, oven fried

Bourbon Bacon Jam {recipe}

makes a little more than 2 cups


1 lb bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup Bourbon
½ teaspoon hot, cayenne, ancho chili, or paprika powder (optional)


Cook bacon until brown and crisp at edges. We “fry” our bacon on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet with sides in a 350° oven for 20 minutes — we find it is the easiest and cleanest way to cook bacon.

Remove cooked bacon to paper towel-lined plate to cool and drain off grease. Pat with additional paper towels. When cool, cut bacon into 1-inch pieces.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Heat bacon fat in a large pot on medium low. Add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and Bourbon. Bring to a boil. Add cooked chopped bacon.

Turn down heat to the lowest setting and allow to simmer for about 1½ hours, stirring every few minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and what is left is syrupy. Do not leave the pot unattended because 1) that’s just not safe no matter what and 2) there is a lot of sugar from the onions and well, the sugar, so it can burn easily.

Transfer the cooked bacon jam to a food processor. Pulse until you get the consistency of chunky jam. Bacon jam is sticky, sweet, slightly smoky, and a little bit “crunchy” from crisped parts of cooked bacon.

Store covered in the refrigerator. I have no idea how long it keeps, but based on my recipe research, it seems like a few weeks. I doubt you will have any left after 3 days.


This post sponsored by our friends at Thermador.

bacon, oven fried

by Sarah J. Gim on May 4, 2016 · 1 comment

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jean | August 28, 2016 at 8:19 am

Ohmygoodness, Sarah, I’ll bring the homemade sourdough bread if you’ll bring the bacon jam! Your photos make me want to park myself right next to your epic party board!


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