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Mustard Bacon Strips with Bacon Whiskey Jam

Yield: 2 cups

Yield: 12-13 strips

Ingredients

For the Jam:

2 pounds of thick sliced bacon, chopped

a big splash of water

8 onions, chopped

2 cups of brown sugar

2 cups of water

2 cups of whiskey

a tsp or so of red wine vinegar

For the strips

1 pound of thick cut bacon

½ cup of brown sugar

¼ cup of Dijon mustard

a Tbsp or so of cumin seeds

lots of freshly ground pepper

Method

For the Jam: 

Place your favourite saucepan over medium high heat. Toss in the bacon then pour in a big splash of water. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon. As the water simmers the bacon will begin to cook. Then as the water evaporates the bacon will render, releasing its fat. Lastly it will crisp as the fat left behind heats past the boiling point of water into the flavour zone. Keep an eye on the pans heat, adjusting as needed, keeping the bacon sizzling but not burning. Stir and be patient, until the bacon is evenly cooked, nicely browned but not particularly crisp, about 20 minutes.

Remove the bacon and strain off all but a quarter cup or so of the drippings. Pile in the onions and patiently brown over low heat until they are soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add the bacon back in, accompanied by the brown sugar and water. Continue simmering until the water is absorbed and the mixture becomes thick and jam-like, about 20 minutes. Splash in the whiskey, reserving an ounce or so for the finish, and cook until you get back to the jam consistency, about another 25 minutes. Carefully transfer the mixture to the food processor, pulse it with the reserved whiskey and the vinegar, and you’ve got a smooth batch of bacon heaven!

For the strips

Preheat your oven to 350°F and turn on your convection fan if you have one. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or use a non-stick silicone baking tray liner.

In a medium bowl mix the brown sugar and mustard to make a paste. Lay the bacon strips out on the prepared baking tray fitting them tightly together. Spread the mustard sugar mixture evenly over the top surface then sprinkle with cumin seeds. Finish with lots of freshly ground pepper. Bake until the strips are cooked through and crunchy, about 30 to 45 minutes. Serve on your favourite sandwich, in a salad or chomp them down as soon as they are cool enough to handle!