What would you do with bacon jam?

By Martin Zibauer »Martin Zibauer

September 21st, 2011



If bacon is culturally man-food, the women at Baconjammin’ were eager gender-benders. The event on Monday, at All the Best, Jane Rodmell’s fine food store, was a promotion for Seattle chef Josh Henderson’s Bacon Jam. Not bacon-flavoured jam, or bacon and jam mixed together, but jam made with bacon.The Baconjammin’ crowd was mostly female, none of whom respected the TV marketing notions that bacon is something men eat voraciously, while women snack on low-fat yogurt. As Jackie Davis wrote in her LOL post, “The commercials, they lie to me.”

In 2007, Henderson’s Skillet Street Foods was one of the city’s first high-end food trucks, serving Seattleites out of an Airstream trailer. As a condiment for burgers, he developed bacon jam. First the bacon is rendered–cooked gently to remove a lot of the fat–then simmered with onions and spices, and puréed to make jam. The product is sweet and smokey and has a very concentrated flavour. A little goes a long way.

Baconjammin’ brought three Toronto chefs and Henderson to All the Best for a non-competitive cook-off to experiment with bacon jam. If you wanted ideas for how to use bacon jam or, in principle, any high-octane flavour-concentrated food, there were some great lessons.

With a hotplate and a frying pan, Henderson made a straightforward, delicious slider with bacon jam and arugula on the bun and a little cambozola cheese on the beef patty. It always amazes me that chefs can make great food with minimal equipment.

There were two grilled cheese sandwiches: Nick auf der Mauer of Porchetta made one with aged cheddar, porchetta (Italian-style marinated pork roast), pork crackling and bacon jam; the in-house All the Best chefs used Gouda, bacon jam, and pickled onions on fruit and nut bread. Both rich and tasty.

Chris McDonald from Cava made croquetas–fritters with a blue cheese (I can’t remember exactly what type) and bacon jam filling. Like a grownup, savoury Cadbury Easter Egg, the filling melted into gooey deliciousness inside the crunchy, football-shaped shell.

Origin chef Claudo Aprile’s soup was the most elaborate dish: creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup with a spoon of pickled garlic scapes, smoked salmon roe, and a ravioli filled with pork and bacon jam. Plus a garnish of finely slivered green onions and a sprig of something new to me, ice plant. Even with all those rich flavours, the soup was surprisingly light.

Tasting all those great bacon jam dishes (nice work if you can get it), gave me some ideas too. I’d use bacon jam to make a grilled cheese with slices of tart apple, or as a filling for onigiri, Japanese rice balls. Or perhaps to make the coating for spiced nuts, say smokey curried peanuts. For more ideas, Henderson’s website has many bacon jam recipes.

What would you do with bacon jam?




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Oct. 6, 2011

9:22 am

We bought a jar at Ruby Eats on Queen East to take to the cottage during the summer. We managed to taste it and had great plans for it, but it didn't survive the appetites of my 10 and 15 yr old garbage disposals. Straight out of the jar! Since then, I have learned to make it - 3 versions in fact ! Check it out. I like to add a couple of packages of Starbucks Via to it but this recipe is better than Martha's and closer to Skillet's. http://www.torontobites.net/?p=1212 We like it to flavour mayo, in a potato salad, in a vinaigrette or as a sandwhich spread...left over turkey, bacon jam and avocado...yum!!! Sandra


Sep. 21, 2011

4:06 pm

my sister made bacon jam using a Martha Stewart recipe for the slowcooker...yum. I like it smeared on a toasted tomato sandwich.

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