I usually try to avoid superlatives when writing my blog posts, but today, I absolutely must. This recipe is, the-best-burger-condiment-you-will-ever-make! For that matter you may never want to make another burger condiment again in your life! Throw out all of the ketchup, mustard and pickle relish in your fridge and vow only ever, to make this one. OK, you see my point! I invited some family over the other day for a barbeque, as the summer sun had me craving a fat, juicy burger, and barbeque meals are really meant to be shared. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make this recipe, which I had spotted in my very fave magazine, Donna Hay -Issue 85, (I have altered it slightly). It was a huge hit. We were literally mounding this jam onto every bite of our burgers. I wish I had doubled the recipe because there wasn’t quite enough for the leftover burgers the next day.
I haven’t given a recipe for burgers here, because as far as I’m concerned, this recipe will go with any sort of burger – beef, turkey, chicken or veggie, and we all have our favourite way of making burgers. I used some beautiful lean ground beef with very little added; a bit of salt and pepper and a bit of dried basil and oregano. It is an old habit of mine to over-season my burgers, but if you use good quality meat, there really is no reason to do this. And when you are using the-best-burger-condiment-in-the-world, you don’t need much seasoning in your meat. I found some brioche buns in my local grocery store and used some lovely olive oil mayo (maybe try making your own), fresh tomatoes and some peppery arugula to construct the burgers. If your guests love cheese like we Canadians do, melt a generous piece of your favourite cheese on top of the burger just before serving. I also have a glut of cherry tomatoes growing on my back patio, so they found their way into my bacon bourbon jam. Don’t you just love this season?
Bacon Bourbon Jam
200 g good quality bacon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
250 g cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 – 3 tablespoons malt vinegar
Place the chopped bacon in a large frying pan, and fry until crisp. Remove the bacon bits from the from the pan and drain on paper towels. Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.
In the same pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions until they are transparent. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the bacon, chili flakes, mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar and tomatoes to the pan. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes are cooked and the mixture has thickened, about 8 or 9 minutes.
Add the bourbon and 2 tablespoons of the malt vinegar and taste. If you feel that the jam could use a bit more acidity, add an additional tablespoon of vinegar. Cook for a further 2 minutes and then set aside to cool.