Passion for Pork

Recipes: Candied Smoked Bacon & Maple Ginger Bacon Jam

Sharman - Thursday, November 7, 2013
Candied Bacon topped with Maple Ginger Bacon Jam

I had the pleasure of attending and co-presenting the Alberta Pork sessions with Chef Eric Hanson at The 25th anniversary of Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge last weekend.

As a first time guest to Christmas in November I was not prepared to enter what I can only describe as the happiest place on earth. Upon my arrival I was greeted by Santa Clause and his sleigh next to chestnuts being roasted on outside grill. Entering the lodge I received my package registration next a life-size gingerbread house as I sipped a cup of piping hot cocoa.

For the 25th anniversary of the event, the JPL and their staff pulled out all the stops. Host Nik Manojlovich led the way through festive welcome receptions, exquisite gala dinners and fun, interactive luncheons. A number of fabulous celebrity chefs and presenters including Michael Smith, Anna & Michael Olson, and Elizabeth Baird, along with our own Chef Eric Hanson, taught guests the secrets of holiday entertaining during hands-on cooking demos, decorating classes, champagne tastings, mixology classes, craft sessions and much, much more.

For the first session Chef Eric Hanson shared tips and tricks on how to put together a charcuterie board featuring Alberta made Valbella’s Gourmet Foods such as prosciutto and chimney sticks complimented with simple recipes for Candied Smoked Bacon and Bacon Jam.

Guests to the Alberta Pork session learned tips and tricks on how a simple brine can make your pork chops succulent and the importance of using a meat thermometer to get that perfectly pink cook for your pork tenderloin. The smell of bacon was alluring as guests arrived at the club house for our Alberta Pork Sessions. Check out Chef Hanson’s recipes for a simple way to add some Passion for Pork to your holiday entertaining.

Chef Hanson's Charcuterie Board

Candied Smoked Bacon
Recipe Supplied by Chef Eric Hanson

A great balance to your charcuterie board is the candied smoked bacon. You match the natural saltiness of the bacon, with darkened sugar and a hint of spice to create well rounded flavor.

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 pound smoked bacon
1 small pinch of cayenne

Using thick cut bacon, slice the widthwise into small batons. Combine all the ingredients place into a baking dish and place into the oven at 325F for 15 minutes. Take them out and place them on a paper towel to briefly drain, then to a plate to cool. Serve right away or place in a container and in the fridge once cooled, and can be reheated on low heat before serving.

Yield: 1 Pound


Maple Ginger Bacon Jam
Recipe Supplied by Chef Eric Hanson

375g (3/4 pound) Hickorysmoked thick sliced bacon – cut
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
4 cloves roasted garlic
2 tsp fresh chopped ginger
1/4 cup pure No.1 medium maple syrup
1/4 cup pure apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp Strong Coffee (7g of medium roast coffee to 1 cup water brewed)
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 cup lightly brown sugar
Large pinch of freshly grated cinnamon
small pinch of allspice
Zest of 1/2 an orange

In a medium pot over high heat, cook the bacon until browned and starting to crisp. Pull the bacon out using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Pour out all of the bacon fat into a container (for another day) leaving behind 1 Tbsp of deliciousness. Now add the onions and garlic, stirring frequently over medium high heat until they start to show golden color. Add the ginger and cook for two minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients (including the bacon) back into the pot and bring to a boil quickly. Then turn down to a simmer and let cook down for 30 minutes, stirring frequently until it becomes syrupy. If the mixture is too sticky, add a sip of water.

Transfer the jam into a food processor and using short bursts, get the jam to a spreadable consistency. Taste the jam, as it may require your personal touch of more syrup or spice. Transfer your jam into a container or jar and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Yield: 3/4 Cup