Brace yourselves, bacon lovers. From brunch to cocktail hour and even dinnertime, you'll want to slather this savory and sweet bourbon bacon jam on everything in sight. No matter how you serve it, everyone is sure to gobble up this irresistible bacon spread.
Add the chopped bacon to a large cold pot. Turn heat to medium. It might look like too much bacon at first, but it will cook down. Stir well every few minutes to help the bacon cook evenly. Cook until the bacon turns crispy and the fat renders and turns foamy. Once the bacon finishes cooking, move to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. If some pieces finish cooking sooner than others, go ahead and move those over.
Remove most of the bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions and give them a stir. Cook the onions until they caramelize. Only stir occasionally to allow the onions to caramelize.
Bring heat back to medium. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds and then add the bacon back to the pot along with the maple syrup, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release those cooked bits. Allow the mixture to bubble and cook for a few additional minutes to thicken. About five minutes should do.
Turn off heat. Stir in fresh thyme leaves, bourbon and a pinch of salt.
Add the bacon mixture to a food processor. Pulse until it looks like ground meat. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!
While I don't find this bacon jam spicy, the cayenne does give it a kick. If you're sensitive to spice, add a little bit at a time to taste.