I realize we're a little behind the eight ball here as onion jam has been making the rounds of the blogosphere long before now. We had some the other night on a fabulous bacon and blue cheese burger and it was so flavorful we were absolutely driven to make it ourselves.
Adapted from a recipe I found on Tasty Kitchen, this was another team effort in JBug's Kitchen. Big Guy put in a fresh pair of contacts and peeled and sliced 4 pounds of onions (6 large) without crying a single tear. Heck, I'm thinking of getting a pair for that very reason :-)
While he was doing that, I fried some bacon to a nice crisp finish, then we got down to business. We added garlic to the mix, less salt, more pepper and changed the method somewhat. Making onion jam isn't rocket science and it smells amazing as it is cooking but does take quite a while, so you have to be patient and stir the pot from time to time. Believe me, your TLC will be well rewarded with 2 pints of absolutely amazing flavor.
We had our bacon/onion jam on a simple salad of romaine leaves dressed in a maple balsamic vinaigrette that we've had here before - hit the link and it'll take you right to it. Of course we had meat too - lovely flavorful skirt steak, marinated in a mustard seed, peppercorn and port concoction and grilled. Sliced thinly and perched on a dressed romaine leaf slathered in onion jam with a garnish of asiago cheese, each bite was a perfect burst of flavor.
If you haven't had a chance to try onion jam before, give it a go on your next rainy summer afternoon. Of course you don't have to wait for rain - we didn't! It is absolutely amazing - in fact our next go round we're thinking of adding some bourbon or even maybe applejack brandy at the very end just to see what a little booze does to the mix and/or substitute beer for the apple cider and add balsamic vinegar and a lot more bacon like this one from Rich Coffey.
Regardless it is really wonderful and we can't wait to try it on a crostini with a touch of creamy gorgonzola, or a pizza with duck and brie, or a burger, or a roast beef sandwich or especially a grilled cheese. The possibilities are endless!
Onion, Garlic and Bacon Jam (adapted from Tasty Kitchen )
6 slices bacon
4 pounds yellow onions (about 6)
1 bulb garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stem
1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups unfiltered apple juice or cider
Cook bacon until crisp in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and remove from pan leaving drippings. Peel onions, cut in half and slice into quarter inch thick slices. Add onions and garlic to the pot along with salt, cover and cook until onions are transparent – about 15 minutes.
Chop bacon into small pieces and add to pot along with vinegar, brown sugar, thyme and black pepper. Cook uncovered over medium low heat until almost all liquid has been reduced, stirring approximately every 10 to 15 minutes (takes about an hour) Stir in apple juice and continue to cook until onions are a medium brown and liquid is reduced but mixture is still fairly moist – about another 45 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning. Cool and store in glass jars in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze. Makes 2 pints.