Remember the bacon craze of the early 2000s? All of the sudden, the fitness obsession of the 90s gave way to “Bacon Mania”. Some say it was because of the rising popularity of the Aktins diet, which favored high protein meals. Whatever the cause, we started seeing bacon everywhere: on socks, as a topping on donuts, as a lip-balm flavoring-- in 2014, Netflix went as far as to release a film, Sizzling Bacon, which, true to its title, was a 20 minute close-up of a pan of sizzling bacon, cooking away in a pan. By the late 2010s, it was clear: bacon had been accepted by the public not only as a well-beloved breakfast staple, but as a culinary theme onto its own.
At the Larder, we know two things very well: how to construct a quality cheeseboard and how to make and source delicious charcuterie (yes, this includes bacon). It’s almost surprising that it took us this long to put two and two together, but we all know that genius can’t be rushed. Bacon on your cheeseboard. Bacon cooked until crispy, bacon cooked into a luscious jam, bacon crumbled on top of your slice of funky Challerhocker-- we’ve reached a new level of flavor and we’ll never look back.
Since we’re of the belief that anything this delicious should be shared with a large audience, we decided to share our Bacon cheese board (complete with our Bacon Jam recipe) with our blog audience. Check out our Bacon cheese board and bacon jam recipe below. If you decide you want to try this out at home, come into the Larder and grab all our bacon products at a discount- this week only!
Bacon Jam Recipe:
Our Bacon Jam recipe came from browsing our shelves and combining our favorite ingredients. Keep in mind that this recipe is adjustable- so make it according to your own personal taste! Add more paprika if you like things spicy, more balsamic if tangy is your style, or extra sweetness if you need.
We kick up our Bacon Jam a notch by making it with Smoking Goose Pork Jowl Bacon, because it is meatier and richer than regular bacon. Slice your Pork Jowl Bacon into half inch wide slices and cook in a heavy-bottomed pot until just-crispy. Using a slotted spoon, take the cooked bacon bits out onto a plate. It'll be difficult to resist eating the bits on-the-spot, but trust us, you'll be rewarded for your patience!
Take all but one generous tablespoon of the rendered fat out of the pot (make sure you save the rest of the fat for later! Pork Jowl bacon fat is incredibly flavorful- use it for enriching sauces, frying up eggs, etc.). Take three sliced onions and add them to the pot. Cook until lightly caramelized (your kitchen should smell amazing by now). Add in a third cup of strong stout (we used EvilTwin's Even More Coco Jesus), a heavy pinch of paprika, a 1/4 cup of maple sugar (substitute maple syrup or brown sugar if needed), three finely chopped cloves of garlic, and a pinch of fresh thyme. Add the bacon back into the pot. Cook this mixture down until jammy and thick. Salt and pepper to taste. Take the mixture off the heat and add in balsamic vinegar to taste (we used our favorite Balsamela). Cool until room temperature and serve with your Bacon Cheeseboard!
We paired our Bacon Jam with slices of funky, buttery Challerhocker. We also included Prairie Breeze cheddar to pair with slices of crispy bacon; the sharpness of the cheddar cuts through the fattiness of the bacon. Though not included on the board pictured below, we'd also suggest adding a creamy blue (like Gorgonzola Dolce or Fourme d'Ambert) that'll pair perfectly with crispy, crumbled bacon. Also pictured on our board is our house-roasted Almonds, house-made Spiced Nuts, slices of Dardiman's dried orange, Charlito Cocina's Trufa Seca, and San Danielle prosciutto.