Every Sunday, we run a recipe of the week in the Austin360 print edition, and today’s ricotta-and-olive-stuffed Stoner Burger calls for a bacon jam from creator Tara Derr Webb, who runs a food truck that originated outside Charleston but is in New York for the summer.
Both recipes appear in “Off the Eaten Path: On the Road Again: More Unforgettable Foods and Characters from the South’s Back Roads and Byways” by Morgan Murphy (Oxmoor House, $22.95), and you can read all about Charleston’s thriving food scene in this travel story from my colleague Matthew Odam, which also appears in today’s paper.
Ridiculous Bacon Jam
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup hot water
1 1/2 lb. dry-cured bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped shallots (3 large shallots)
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. coarsely ground black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. stone-ground mustard
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup bourbon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Combine currants and hot water; let stand 10 minutes.
Cook bacon, in batches, in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until browned, but not crisp; drain, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet.
Saute shallots and garlic in hot drippings 5 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add peppercorns and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add bourbon and maple syrup; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Stir in currants and soaking liquid, brown sugar and vinegar; return to a boil. Add bacon; reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, 12 minutes or until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Remove and discard bay leaf. Pulse bacon mixture in food processor until chunky, but still spreadable. Pour into hot, sterilized canning jars. Cover with lids; screw on bands. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator for 2 weeks. Makes 2 1/2 cups.