So...what is the secret to awesome onion jam? It starts with good onions and shallots. I look for shallots to go on sale at the dollar store near my house and sometimes I get lucky. Add this jam to your list of things that "freeze beautifully". The addition of bacon makes it so it cannot be home canned because of the high fat content, but that has never stopped me from putting it in half-pint jars with 1 inch headspace and popping the jars in the freezer! The recipe calls for lemon infused olive oil. If you can't find it at your local grocery store, you can add 1T fresh fine minced lemon zest to your jam. This adds a brightness to the flavor profile that will really delight! I've found the addition of the fennel and the black pepper to be what really sets this jam apart from other recipes...in an addictive can't-live-without-it kind of way.
Unlike the first onion jam recipe I did here on the blog, this recipe does not employ the use of sure-jell. The bacon actually helps to absorb the excess moisture and gives you a really thick jam if done correctly.
Tess' Bacon and Onion Balsamic Jam
Yield 6 pints (12 cups)
3 lbs of red onions, minced
3 lbs white or yellow onions, minced
1/2 lb peeled shallots, minced
1 lb bacon crumbles (pre-cooked works great)
1/4 cup lemon infused olive oil
1 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 cup honey
2T sea salt
1T fennel seed
2T cracked fresh pepper
4 bay leaves
Mince onions and shallots.
In a two gallon pot, caramelize bacon in the olive oil until dark brown. Add the onions and shallots and stir.
Put all the ding-a-dang happy seasonings of joy in the pot with the onions and bacon. Give it a stir and then...talk about bacon and boys. It takes a good 20 minutes of sweating the onions before you add the vinegar.
Sweat. Sweat. Sweat.
Now. once the onions are translucent looking...add the vinegar, sugar, honey and bay leaves. Simmer...
Simmer 20-30 minutes over low heat.
Transfer to fridge, covered and cooled. It will thicken as it cools. Transfer to half-pint jars. This will yield 12 jars.
For grilled cheese, spread a generous amount on bread, top with 2-3 slices of cheese and top with bread. Grill in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
There you go darlings! Make something wicked!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess