While writing this recipe we kept on wondering about a story that could be shared in the blog. This recipe was special. Madhushree and I never had this made at home before. Leave aside making it; we started thinking about the first time that each of us ate bacon.
We are speaking about the mighty Bacon and innovations from it. If the memory serves right, then it was one of the breakfasts while we were on our honeymoon that I tasted bacon for the first time. Madhushree claims that she ate bacon a lot while her growing up in Goa and later on in Cardiff. Like many other things which I did not experience or prefer while growing up and tasted at a later time eventually becoming a favourite of mine- like the ice cream, sinful desserts, Scotch (which has smoothly replaced Vodka); Bacon also became a personal favourite. Whenever travelling, be it in Europe or elsewhere within India, the presence of bacon in breakfast buffet has always had its share of joy and happiness.
While the primary perception with most for Bacon is restricted to a side in the breakfast along with its partner sausages and eggs; Bacon can be smoked, boiled, fried, baked or grilled and most of the times acts as a an ingredient to add flavours in soups, salads and many more.
Did you know you could make Bacon Jam? In case you know, you are a real foodie and Bacon Lover. In case you didn’t know, be assured you don’t fall in any significant curve of the world population. Well, thanks to Heston Blumenthal, we now have bacon ice cream too. Coming to bacon jam, we did not know about it till such time Kalyan had shared my friend Amrita Rana’s home-made Bacon Jam, which she started selling later. Speaking with Amrita – she has a very interesting story to share. One of her cousins from UK once told her about Bacon jam which he had in one of the cafes and insisted that she must try it too. She searched for it in Mumbai, could not get it, she didn’t even find anything closest in India itself. The curious mind went on experimenting with recipes online with several trials and testing along with friends and it is the friends who encouraged selling the Jam. Based on the reactions from the friends, the Bacon Jam was named OMG Bacon Jam and Amrita launched her home pantry. Today Amrita has stopped manufacturing the Jam and she is onto something new. Wishing her all the success for future and perhaps silently she has become a part of food history in India for selling home-made Bacon Jam for the first time.
Where do you pick up your Bacon in Kolkata? We can recommend these places –
Kalman Cold Storage- Free School Street, Haringhata Meat shops (online using BB or several outlets in the city), Arambagh Food Marts, Spencers, Several other cold storages in New Market Area. However, Madhushree swears by the bacon from Haringhata, Kalman and Spencers.
Oh! By the way…this is not a paid post promoting neither Amrita nor the Bacon stores. Interestingly Amrita is now ready to share her recipe for the Bacon Jam with everyone else and we will also wait for her recipe. However we attach here our recipe. Since there is no right and wrong or ‘authentic’ about any recipe, we are attaching ours here.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: 1 ¼ medium sized jar
|Bacon||500 gm||Onions (finely chopped)||3 cups|
|Balsamic Vinegar||1/4 cup||Garlic (finely chopped)||2 big cloves|
|Brown Sugar||1/3 cup||Bourbon *||1/2 cup|
|Ginger paste||1/2 tsp||Maple Syrup||1/3 cup|
*you can skip the bourbon completely or could add dark rum or apple juice instead. In case of apple juice, the brown sugar can be omitted altogether.
- In a frying pan, place the bacon strips on high heat. Within minutes, the bacon will start crisping up and will release fat. Wait till it becomes a bit crispy (not too much) and then strain them and put them on a kitchen towel. Repeat the process till the entire batch has been fried.
- Since the pan will be filled with bacon fat, it is better to throw out most of it and reserve enough to fry the onions.
- Keeping the heat now on medium, spread the onions in the frying pan and caramelize them in the bacon fat. Also add the garlic cloves at the same time.
- In the meanwhile, roughly chop up the crispy fried bacon strips.
- Once the onions have caramelized, add the brown sugar, vinegar, maple syrup and ginger paste.
- Stir everything in and keeping your face away from the pan, add the bourbon. Be careful cos sometimes you may just flambé it.
- Finally add the bacon pieces and continue cooking on low heat till it reaches a jammy consistency. It takes about 10 minutes or so.
- Once it has thickened up but still has some gooey goodness, turn off the heat.
- You can leave it just like this or give it a couple of whirls in a food processor. I did.
- Store it in jars and have it when it has cooled down. It tastes better the next day when the flavours have intensified.
P.S. I just finished half a jar of bacon jam while writing the recipe.
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