Five Spice Bacon Jam

Thanks to the internet and its endless obsession with bacon I have discovered bacon jam. However it wasn’t much of a surprise to find that bacon jam is not jam in the traditional sense. It is actually caramelised onion with bacon. If you have a tried and trusted caramelised onion recipe, try adding bacon to it. I had my doubts as it seems that bacon is being added to anything and everything with no thought to the results but this works. Of course, that is if you eat bacon.

Caramelised onion used to take me 1-2 hours of slow cooking of sliced onion in a fry pan with constant stirring and constant monitoring for colour and texture. You want the onion soft but not so soft it masquerades as baby food. I aim for a golden brown colour, definitely not dark brown or pale brown. There is such a fine line. These days after much use and familiarisation of my Thermomix it all takes around 40 minutes, prep time included.

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Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, (peeled)
  • 400g onion, (peeled and halved)
  • 400g of bacon, (trimmed of fat)
  • 10g grapeseed oil, (or any other vegetable based flavourless oil)
  • 160g brown sugar
  • 80g apple cider vinegar
  • 60g maple syrup
  • 2 double shots of coffee added to 50mL of water, (I get this from my local café. This is optional especially if you’re caffeine sensitive but you won’t notice the coffee taste in the final product. It does enhance the smokiness of the smoked paprika and helps to provide a depth to the bacon jam.)
  • 1 tablespoon of seeded mustard
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of five spice powder (adjust for personal taste)

Method

  1. Place the garlic, onion, bacon, and oil into the Thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 5.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cook for 10 minutes on Varoma on speed 1 on reverse. Although this speed is low if you forget to place the blade on the reverse spin setting, the onion will tend towards mush. The bacon does stay mostly intact.Instead of using the Measuring Cup on the lid, place the simmering basket on top of the lid. This will allow moisture to escape as the bacon and onion cooks and helps for a thicker final product. Any spatter will be caught by the simmering basket and not the splashback or kitchen cabinets.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the Thermomix bowl and a scrape of the base of the bowl as well to make sure that none of the onion has stuck to the bottom.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients. Once again cook for 10 minutes on Varoma on speed 1 on reverse and with the simmering basket on the lid.
  5. Transfer to sterilised jars while still hot. The bacon jam will thicken on cooling so don’t panic on its watery appearance. I store mine in the fridge before use and definitely after opening.

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