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bacon & chilli jam

April 1, 2012

When I first entered the Jam Off I was totally convinced that I was going to enter my Chilli Jam. When I say ‘my Chilli Jam’ I  actually mean Nigella’s. 100% not actually my invention. 100% based on her recipe. All credit to the sultry hot temptress that is Nigella Lawson:

This recipe is a tried and true, sweet n spicy option that I had made a hundred times before. Safe. Easy. Delicious.

Then somebody tweeted about these shoes:


And I started to wonder – What Would Ron Swanson Do?

He’d make Bacon Jam. BACON JAM. But how?…

Google helped. The internet was already full of Bacon Jam recipes. It seems the idea was not my own! God Bless the internet.

After the first attempt (a miserable failure, that is a lot of wasted bacon people!) I tried  a few more times (cough THREE cough) and then finally mixed the successful batch of Bacon Jam with Nigella’s Chilli Jam recipe. Ta Dah!

It ended up being included as a wild card in the top five finalists in the Wellington Jam Off 2012! I was so stoked! It was such a fun morning, a HUGE thank you to the team that puts the Jam Off together!

SO after many requests – here are the recipes. Make each jam on their own and then mix the Chilli Jam recipe through the Bacon Jam recipe – proportions to taste. The Bacon Jam is amazing on its own though.  You could just make the Bacon Jam. And get nice & friendly with a tea-spoon!

Niether is a cheap jam to make and as far as we’ve been able to tell the Bacon Jam only had about a 2 week ‘in the fridge’ shelf life. We ate it too fast to figure out if you could keep it sealed in the pantry for a while before opening.

Chilli Jam (

  • 150g red chillies – I sourced these from New World in 80g bags
  • 150g peppers – Nigella’s recipe calls for Red Peppers but I use the bulk mini pepper packs – green, red & yellow
  • 1kg jam sugar – shout out to Chelsea Sugar for their Jam Setting sugar!
  • 600ml cider vinegar

1 ) Deseed and cut each chilli into about 4 pieces.

2 ) Pulse in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Repeat steps 1 & 2 with the peppers.

3) Over a low heat dissolve the sugar in vinegar.

4) Add the chilli & pepper mix to the pot and bring to boil. Leave boiling for ten minutes. Only stir if you need too.

5) After ten minutes, remove from heat and leave to cool.

6) Once cool and once the chilli flecks are suspended in the Jell you can ladle into jars.

Bacon Jam

I’m not sure how to credit this Jam recipe – I changed amounts and blended a few I stumbled across so I’ll link all the recipes I read initially and thank them all for their inspiration and instruction!

Whiskey Bacon Jam Recipe


  • 500g bacon – Cured streaky bacon if you wallet can spare the coin!
  • 70g brown sugar
  • 50mls golden syrup
  • 50ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 150ml fresh brewed coffee (for the record I slipped in Supreme single origin!)
  • 250ml whiskey – Makers Mark was on hand at the time
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced


1) Dice & fry bacon until it just starts to crisp. You want it cooked but not crispified.

2)Leave enough fat in the pan to fry the onion partially but drain off the rest of the fat. You really don’t want to leave too much dripping fatty goodness on the bacon. You’ll end up with greasy jam.

3) Once you’ve fried the onion gently (low, 5 mins-ish) add the garlic for another minute.

4) In a heavy (cast iron if you’ve got it) bottomed pot or dish mix together the bacon you’ve drained and the onion and garlic. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the vinegar.

5) Leave to simmer for an hour. You can add a little water every 30 minutes if you need to ( I did this just once) and then add the vinegar in the last 5-10 mins. One recipe suggested putting this in a slow cooker for 4 – 6 hours instead.

6) At the end of the hour you’ll have a heavenly smelling home and a sweet smoky pot of goodness. Let it cool slightly and the pulse in a food processor. It’s up to you how finely you process it. Take it too far and you end up with Bacon Paste. Still delish though!

7) Bottle up and find a million uses.


Thanks again to the Wellington Jam Off 2012



6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ruth permalink
    April 1, 2012 9:39 pm

    This is making my mouth water just reading it!

  2. April 2, 2012 10:50 pm

    mine was a dismal fail – greasy jam – whizzed up looked like goo – froze it coz I couldn’t trust the colour – finally threw it out – I know all it takes is perseverance, tweaking the recipe here and there – but I only buy free range pork – and it was just too costly for ANOTHER one of my experiments (read: banana skin cake)

    • April 3, 2012 12:29 pm

      Ooosh Lynely I have been there! And I am with you on the cost of it! If it wasn’t for a competition I would have given up for sure. If you ever try again, make sure to drain as much fat as possible from the bacon when you take it out of the pan the first time – leaving just enough in the pan to gently fry the oniions and garlic. I need to know more about this Banana Skin Cake!

  3. Laurie permalink
    June 18, 2012 5:44 pm

    After visiting over at ThinkGeek you so tempted me with the bacon jam recipe that I raced to your blog .. smile .. only to find I would need some math skills and a bit of sleuthing before cooking as I live in the U.S.A. Some ingredients we don’t have or they are called something else but I am happily looking forward to the challenge!! Thank-You!

    • June 18, 2012 6:55 pm

      This is on think geek? happy to translate for you, just need a day! 🙂


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