I am a bourbon gal and have a few fellow bourbon-enthusiast friends who like to share new bourbon finds with me. This past New Year’s, one of those friends brought me a bottle of the Knob Creek Maple Bourbon as a hostess gift and I seriously thought I heard angels singing when I took my first sip. Booker Noe, the man who put that flavor profile together at the Knob Creek distillery, is a genius!
And then there’s bacon. Sigh. What can I say about bacon that those of us who truly appreciate it, don’t already know? As long as that little piggy goes to market and brings me bacon, I’m the one going “Whee! Whee! Whee!” all the way home!
I made this Bourbon Bacon Marmalade during the holidays last year, and gave it to some of my friends as gifts. Not only because it’s a recipe worth sharing, but because I was afraid I was going to binge eat the entire thing! (It was that good.) I made it again this past weekend because I had a taste for it, so if I show up at your door and hand you a jar, you’ll know why.
You can serve it on crostini with some shaved Parmesan; as a side to some pan-seared scallops; or my personal favorite, on a spoon!
1 pkg. thick-cut bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup bourbon
1 tbsp. orange zest
½ tsp. Chile powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1) Add the bacon to a saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 10-12 minutes.
2) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
3) Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings into a jar for use later.
4) Add the onions to the pan and cook them on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes, until the sugars have been released and they begin to caramelize.
5) Stir in the bourbon, brown sugar, orange zest, Chile powder, salt and pepper and cook until the sugar has dissolved.
6) Return the bacon to the pan and stir until the ingredients are coated in the glaze.
7) Remove the pan from the heat and allow the marmalade to cool thoroughly before transferring to jars. Store the marmalade in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. And don’t forget to share a jar with your friends!