Cranberry Bacon Jam Recipe- made with or without cranberries, this deliciously addicting, sweet and salty combination is made with easy to find ingredients such as onions, bacon, brown sugar, and cranberries. Simmered slowly, this bacon jam is best enjoyed with fresh bread, crackers, or on top of your favorite burger.
So, bacon jam. Apparently, this is a thing. I mean, I know it’s been a thing for a while, but the whole concept sounded too far-fetched (yes, even for me) that it’s taken me this long to try this sweet and salty condiment for myself.
When I think about all my initial bacon jam reservations I realize how little they make sense. After all, I love caramelized onions and I love bacon. What was my problem?
After some deep contemplation (jk. contemplation is not the word I would use to describe it but for the sake of dramatics) I realized…it had nothing to do with the ingredients. It was simply that I didn’t understand it. But mostly, I could not wrap my head around the idea that bacon and jam were being used in the same sentence, much less as a title to describe a food.
Well, you guys. The joke is on me because bacon jam (with or without cranberries) is totally legit.
What is Bacon Jam
According to Wikipedia, bacon jam is a type of relish made from slow cooking bacon with onions, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices. Similar to Verhackert, an Austrian starter, bacon jam may or may not be mixed in a food processor after cooking.
So, what makes this bacon jam a ‘jam’? No different than other fruit jams, bacon jam requires a certain amount of added sugar in order to be officially labeled as a jam.
I am not a jam maker and had no idea about this little tidbit of information. It all makes so much more sense now!
Ingredients in this Cranberry Bacon Jam
Now that we know what bacon jam actually is, let’s chat about what goes into it.
For this bacon jam recipe, you’ll notice that I chose to include whole, fresh, cranberries. The cranberries are optional. You do not need to add them. However, being that it is the middle of October and the holidays are just around the corner, cranberries seemed like a pretty great idea. They’re tart, bright, seasonal, and taste delicious with bacon, caramelized onions, and brown sugar.
If you really dislike cranberries, or you can’t find them at the market, simply leave them out. That’s it. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
Ingredients in this cranberry bacon jam recipe
- brown sugar
- sherry vinegar
- fresh cranberries
- balsamic vinegar
- fresh thyme
How to make Cranberry Bacon Jam
Preparing your own cranberry bacon jam is extremely easy. It does require a little time and patience but rest assured, the wait will be worth it in the end.
- Cook the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. You want to cook your bacon until it is crispy, but not burnt, and it has rendered its fat. Once the bacon has finished cooking, strain the bacon fat through a fine mesh strainer and chop the bacon into small bits.
- Return the skillet to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat plus 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Cook the onion. Cook the onion until soft and translucent.
- Add the sherry vinegar and brown sugar. Allow the onions, vinegar, and sugar to slowly cook and caramelize together.
- Stir in the bacon.
- Add a splash of water and the cranberries. Mix well to combine and cover. Reduce heat to low and allow everything to mix and mingle together for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is thick and syrupy.
- Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme.
If you try cooking this Cranberry Bacon Jam Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts- do you like it plain, with bread, entertaining guests, on your favorite sandwich?
For more bacon recipes check out,
- Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Skillet Chicken with Bacon, Caper and Olive Sauce
- Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Salad with Fresh Mango
- Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach and Goat Cheese
- Mexican Street Corn Bacon Nachos
DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS CRANBERRY BACON JAM RECIPE TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ON THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS, OR ANY DAY YOU WANT TO CELEBRATE WITH A DELICIOUS FOOD.
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Cranberry Bacon Jam Recipe
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until crispy and all fat has been rendered. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to cool. Meanwhile, strain the bacon fat through a fine mesh strainer and into a clean bowl. Once cool, finely chop the bacon into small pieces.
- Return the skillet with two tablespoons reserved bacon fat plus two tablespoons butter to the skillet. Add the onions and salt and sauté until softened and translucent- approximately 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Stir in the black pepper, brown sugar, and sherry vinegar. Mix well to combine and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or so. Add the chopped bacon back to the skillet. Stir.
- Add the water and the fresh cranberries. Stir well to combine and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until cranberries have burst and the mixture is thick and syrupy.
- Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinaigrette and fresh thyme, if desired. Enjoy!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)