Bacon Jam Takes Your Pan Sauces To A Whole Other Level

It's not exactly news that the smoky, salty flavor of pork pairs beautifully with sweet flavors. This is why dishes such as homemade pork and pineapple kebabs work so well, or sweet, crunchy candied bacon. And bacon jam fully embraces the sweet-salty-smoky combo in a next-level relish.

While bacon jam doesn't actually contain fruit like a traditional jam or jelly, it boasts a beautifully thick, jammy texture and a touch of sweetness, usually from brown sugar and maple syrup. Perhaps you've tried sticky bacon jam as a topping on a burger, spread in a sandwich, or as an accompaniment to a cheeseboard. But the condiment also works exceptionally well when used to enhance a range of pan sauces, adding extra richness and depth of flavor.

Whether it's homemade or store-bought, bacon jam often relies on crispy bacon to get a little crunch into each bite, along with soft caramelized onions or shallots. And this mixture of textures in the relish, as well as the sweet yet intensely savory taste, also makes it a great addition to sauces and gravies, giving them extra body.

Try bacon jam in savory gravies and pasta sauces

One of the simplest, most effective ways to cook with bacon jam is by stirring a spoonful into pan sauces or gravies towards the end of the cooking process. As the jam warms up and begins to melt into the sauce, it adds a smoky flavor and extra thickness, with a little bit of crunch from the bacon. This shortcut also means you can infuse extra meaty and sweet onion flavors without having to add meat drippings or saute chopped onions as you might with a traditional gravy.

The flavors of bacon and onions in the jam pair beautifully with meaty, creamy, or mushroom-based sauces for chicken, as well as with fish such as salmon or seared scallops. A spoonful of bacon jam can also be used to enrich red wine, bourbon, or beer-based sauces to go with chicken, steak, or even sausages for added porky flavors.

Try using bacon jam to elevate creamy sauces for dressing potatoes or pasta. Mix a couple of spoonfuls into a sauce made with cream, butter, and grated parmesan cheese for a rich, savory dressing for fettuccine. Or, toss freshly cooked spaghetti in bacon jam before mixing it with eggs and parm for a flavorful take on carbonara.

Bacon jam can enhance a variety of dishes

It's not just pan sauces that can be enhanced with a touch of bacon jam. The flavors and textures in the relish also work well in salad dressings. Just mix equal amounts of olive oil, red wine vinegar, and bacon jam to dress greens, or try serving the dressing warm with goat cheese, spinach, and nuts.

Bacon jam also makes a tasty addition to an otherwise basic potato salad; just stir it through the mayo dressing for a flavor boost. Or, try adding a spoonful on top of smooth blended soups, such as roasted butternut squash, before serving for a delightful combination of textures and tastes. The flavors also work well stirred through roasted vegetables, or as a topping for baked sweet potatoes.

Bacon jam can also be used in place of, or mixed into, other sauces or relishes. Try spreading it in your next grilled cheese sandwich, as a topping for pizzas, or mixed into cream cheese, yogurt, or sour cream to make a dip. Whenever you want to incorporate smoky, salty, and sweet yet tangy flavors, try adding bacon jam. Because if everything is better with bacon, then it's better still with bacon jam.