"An easy way to bring a load of bacon flavor to your tailgate table. Put this on everything in sight from burgers to cupcakes to corn on the cob!"
1 1/2 pounds bacon
2 cups shallots, finely chopped
1 cup Vidalia onion or any sweet onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pulse shallots and onions in food processor or cut by hand. Cook bacon in two frying pans to allow room for it to crisp. Cook over medium heat until it browns perfectly. You want the bacon a little crisper with as little visible fat as possible. Transfer to paper towels to drain excess fat off. When cool, cut into small pieces or tear it by hand so it looks more rustic. Personal choice.
Leave about 1–2 tablespoons of fat in one pan. Cook shallot and onion over medium heat until they start to caramelize. Add garlic and cook about 1 more minute. Add chili powder and paprika, stir to combine.
Increase heat to high and add bourbon (carefully) and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, stir and scrape the pan so the little bacon bits come loose. Continue boiling for about 2–3 minutes. Add vinegar and brown sugar, and continue to boil for about 3 minutes.
Toss the bacon pieces into the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken and look jam-like. Turn off stove. Drain excess fat off bacon jam by pouring through sieve or cheesecloth.
Now you have two options: Stop here and leave it chunkier or pulse it in a food processor until it breaks down more. Your choice. Transfer to jars and store in the fridge. You can heat it up in the microwave whenever you want to top something with the jam. I use it over smoked sausages cooked on the grill. Divine.