This bacon onion jam recipe is a happy accident. I found a recipe that I wanted to adapt for the sous vide and it called for caramelized onions. I hate caramelizing onions. It is time consuming and though absolutely delicious, I just never remember to do it before I need it. Surely there has to be a better way. And while caramelized onions are good… can I make them even better?
A long time ago I ate at at Tiburon Fine Dining and had their St Andre & Braised Jurobuta Pork. It consisted of a French triple crème Brie, 5 hour ‘Dry’ Braised Kurobuta pork belly & balsamic onion jam. To say it was good would be to undersell it. This appetizer has haunted my memory since. So, when I wanted something better than simple caramelized onions, I knew what I had to do. It was time to recreate the dish that haunted me.
Oh, Oh Sweet Onion of Mine
The first time I caramelized onions, my first thought was to use the sweet onion breed at my local megamart. Walla Walla Sweets, Vidalia, or the many other types are actually not the best onions to caramelize. A regular yellow onion has more natural sugars and will caramelize with better flavor. I don’t get it, you’d think the natural sweetness of a Walla Walla sweet would be better, I mean my stepmom used to eat them like apples growing up in Eastern Washington, but it just isn’t so.
Sous Vide Bacon Makes Everything Better
I am not a fan of pork belly anymore (too fatty) except when it is in the form of bacon. So rather than doing a long braise of pork belly, bacon was an easy replacement from the meal at Tiburon’s so long ago. ChefSteps.com has a brilliant article on making bacon with the sous vide. The low and slow process (I like to cook it for 24 hours at 147 °F / 64 °C) tenderizes the bacon making it melt in your mouth. This however is not how I want my bacon when I’m serving it as a side with whatever breakfast meal I’m making. It is perfect when using bacon as an ingredient in something like Copycat Starbucks Egg Cups or in a Caramelized Onion jam. And even better – the bacon fat that comes with it is a great replacement for butter. Smoky and sweet goes so well together.
Sweet Dreams are Made of This Bacon Onion Jam
I first developed this recipe just hours before I learned my brother had passed away. Life got crazy afterwards and I never got around to making the recipe that started this entire process. I will tomorrow and that recipe will be available soon after, but I already had the bacon onion jam and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste.
I took a little nibble of it right after it had finished reducing to the ooey-gooey goodness (those are the technical terms to describe it) and nearly dropped to the floor in ecstasy. That might be a bit of an overstatement, but it was unreal how good this recipe is. Since then, I’ve made sausage egg and onion jam sandwiches for my husband for breakfast, spruced up fast food burgers to make them more palatable, and I’ll admit snuck a spoonful or two just for the luxury of the flavor.
This will replace your favorite toppings for almost everything. Call me crazy, but I could see bacon onion jam on ice cream. No, maybe not… or can I?
05/06/17 – Updated water amount to 1/2 cup from 2 cups. This lowers the amount of reduction time at the end.