To kick off the start of the Southern Gay Gourmet, we wanted to share one of our favorite recipes: bacon marmalade. This is something that can be served at any occasion – from a backyard BBQ to a sophisticated cocktail party.
We first had bacon marmalade at a wonderful restaurant in Midtown Atlanta called Empire State South. We DEFINITELY recommend this marmalade paired with a homemade pimiento cheese, on toasted baguette pieces! If you haven’t eaten there, you’re missing out. After searching online for copycat recipes, we finally just took the best parts of all the recipes we found and developed our own recipe.
1 to 1.5lbs of bacon (depending on your love of bacon)
1 large sweet onion, chopped (Vidalia preferred)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of bourbon
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of sorghum syrup (cane syrup or maple syrup will work as well)
1/2 cup of freshly brewed coffee
Salt and pepper to taste
To start off, you want to fry all of the bacon and set it aside. Keep the bacon drippings in the pan and add the diced onion. Cook the onion until translucent, add garlic and cook an additional minute (garlic tends to burn quickly, so you always want to add it when everything else is almost done cooking).
Remove onions and garlic and discard the remaining bacon drippings.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the cooked onions and garlic, as well as the bacon – just pull the bacon apart into about 1-inch pieces (or you could dice the bacon into lardons before you cook it, but who has time for that!)
Now, into the witches pot goes the rest – add the bourbon, vinegar, syrup and coffee. Now BTB, RTS (bring to boil, reduce to simmer). It will need to simmer for about an hour, stirring and scraping the bottom to make sure it doesn’t stick while it reduces. Add salt and pepper to taste as you go. I’ve found the coarser the pepper, the better!
After about an hour, when it gets really thick and BEFORE it begins to stick to the pan, you are almost to the finish line. Remove it immediately and put into a food processor in batches. It only needs a few pulses to get it to the consistency you desire. Once you have processed all that is in the pan, put it in a Mason jar to cool.
Throw a lid on it once it’s cooled and you have a decadent bacon marmalade in a stylish serving container for any Southern occasion!
Now go make the pimiento cheese to pair – Part II – Creamy Pimiento Cheese