Talk about in a jam, Big Guy took over the kitchen the other day and cooked up his version of Bacon Onion Jam. Of course he had to change it up a bit from our last version by increasing the amount of bacon, decreasing the onions to 3 monster sized ones and adding more garlic. He also cooked the whole mess in a nice dark beer – Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon to be exact although he did add a little apple juice at the end because a taste test indicated it needed more sweetness.
The power that be advised, however that he would be making it again (and again) to perfect his recipe. He thinks it needs more onions, some herbs in the form of rosemary or thyme, more cracked black pepper and naturally a bigger pot full. I’ll let you know how that batch turns out too.
To fill you in on what we’re up to at the moment – Big Guy’s off surf fishing, trying to get the best use out of the annual fishing license he purchased, at least that’s his excuse seeing as he only has 4 weeks to use the darn thing unless I can talk him into coming back over Christmas break. The dogs and I just got back from a nice long walk although I think we might have stopped and talked more than we walked. There’s a neighborhood garage sale going on right now with lots of treasures available. Isn’t this the most perfect place in the world? I mean you don’t need a car, you don’t need wifi and for sure you don’t need to leave the block to go shopping. Cool eh?
Bacon, Onion and Beer Jam (adapted from Chef Rich Coffey)
12 ounces bacon
3 extra large onions, halved then sliced
7 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 – 12 bottle dark beer (we used Obsidian Stout)
1/2 cup apple juice
Salt and course ground black pepper to taste
Chop bacon and cook in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon starts to crisp. Add sliced onions and stir well. Lower heat slightly and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened and starting to caramelize – about 1 hour. Stir in brown sugar, balsamic and beer. Bring to a simmer then lower heat and cook slowly stirring occasionally until mixture is thickened – approximately 2 hours. As mixture starts to dry out, add apple juice and cook until mixture is dark in color and has a thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Makes approximately 3 cups.