Bacon jam

Bacon jam

The Hang Fire Cookbook

We first heard about this delicious little condiment from a food truck in Seattle. Since then, we’ve seen many iterations in supermarkets and restaurants, and from streetfood vendors. Here’s our version with a little smoky kick from the bacon and paprika, and a savoury edge from a cup of coffee.


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
500g Down-home smoked bacon
400g red onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
80ml brewed medium coffee of your choice
80ml balsamic vinegar


  1. Take a small pan and dry fry your cumin, coriander and fennel seeds over high heat. When they start to look toasty and smell great too, transfer to a pestle and mortar (or spice grinder) and give them a good pounding until they’re finely ground to a powder. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Now start frying off your bacon in batches, making sure there’s enough room in the pan for the bacon to crisp up nicely, about 8–10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to some kitchen towels to absorb the excess bacon fat, keeping back about 2 tablespoons fat in the pan.
  3. Add your red onions and garlic to the pan and cook over a medium-low heat, for 10–12 minutes, until softened. Put in the toasted and ground spices, along with the paprika, sugar, salt, pepper, chilli, and stir over medium heat for 1–2 minutes. Now add the maple syrup, coffee and vinegar, and keep stirring until well combined for a few more minutes.
  4. Chop your bacon into small pieces, making sure there’s not too much fat – you really want the meaty bits. Add the bacon to the pan, simmer and stir for about 10 minutes over low heat, until the mixture starts to thicken. Finally, transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse a few times until you have a spreadable consistency. Serve warm, or keep in an airtight jar, in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks.

Make mine a bourbon

  • Bourbon bacon jam is also a proven hit around our house. Adapt the recipe above by omitting the fennel and cumin, and replacing the coffee with 80ml of your favourite bourbon.
Deep South
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