Bourbon Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese
Sure, you could make this delicious jam and stop there, but the exquisite marriage of Gouda, sourdough and bourbon-y, syrupy bacon brings grilled cheese into its ultimate form.
Ingredients & Instructions
BOURBON BACON JAM:
- 24 oz. Frick’s Applewood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups finely chopped shallots (from 3 large or 8 small shallots)
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar (substitute with apple cider vinegar if needed)
- 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH:
- 20 slices sourdough bread (2 per sandwich)
- 20 slices Gouda cheese (2 per sandwich)
- 2 sticks butter, softened (1/2 – 1 Tbsp. per bread slice)
Spread half of bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned, ~25-30 minutes. Transfer bacon bits to paper towels to drain. Remove fat, reserving 1-2 Tbsp. of fat in the pan.
Add shallots & garlic to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, ginger, & mustard and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Increase heat to high; add bourbon & maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add vinegar & brown sugar and return to a boil. Add reserved bacon; reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze, roughly 10 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a food processor & pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 1 hour and up to 3 weeks.
Use the bacon jam for grilled cheese sandwiches: start by spreading jam on one side of half the bread slices. Cover the spread jam with two slices of Gouda cheese per sandwich, then top with remaining bread. Spread butter on the external sides of each sandwich, then place sandwich or sandwiches on a skillet or griddle over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes, or until browned. Flip to other side and heat another 5 minutes until bread is browned and cheese is melted. Serve warm.