Onion Jam is a symphony of savory-sweet flavors made with loads of caramelized onions and savory herbs. Slather it all over a juicy burger or with baked brie in puff pastry.
What can you do with Onion Jam?
Onion jam is one of those things that sounds weird at first, but once you've tasted it, you won't believe you waited so long to try it.
This savory-sweet condiment adds an element of sophistication to dishes that are rich and have a higher fat content. Burgers and my Meatloaf Sandwich are two things that are only made better with a few dollops of this sweet onion jam.
Another impressive but quick and easy appetizer that uses jam is baked brie. This onion jam would be the perfect accompaniment to a round of baked brie.
Stick around and I will talk you through making Bacon Onion Jam later in this post.
What does Caramelized Onion Jam Taste Like?
To explain I have a story about 80s Food.
One of the things that I grew up eating was jalepeño jam poured over a block of cream cheese. My mom would serve this surprising delicious appetizer whenever she had holiday parties. I still have very fond memories of the creamy-spicy treat paired with Triscuits and Wheat Thins.
The food of the 70s and 80s is completely fascinating to me.
This was an era of literally eating 100% processed foods for every single meal. Vegetables where merely garnish that you removed from the dish before eating.
If you want to have a great laugh check out some true vintage 70s cuisine.
If that isn't entertaining enough check out these beauties. 70s Food Porn.
And the most popular 80s recipes. These will really take you back!
If you still haven't had enough, Pinterest is a gold mine for scary 70s recipes. It seriously makes me laugh and cry a little at the same time.
While you are there go ahead and Follow Foodology Geek. I would love to see you around!
Back to the Onion Jam Recipe
The beautiful this about this recipe is that it's a Master Recipe. A Master Recipe is a recipe that has a basic ratio of ingredients that you can swap out to make your own version. For example, use a different type of onion or a different vinegar.
Let's talk about using a Master Recipe. First of all the Ingredients.
What ingredients to you need to make Onion Jam?
- One-quarter cup of Oil – Here you can use EVOO
- Three large Vidalia Onions
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Rosemary
- One cup of Granulated Sugar
- Three-quarters cup of Champagne vinegar
- One-half teaspoon of Kosher salt
Here are the step for making Onion Jam or Onion Marmalade.
- Cut up all of the onions: A handy tip, if you have the onion crying gene installed, is to wear sunglasses or even swimming goggles while you cut up onions. To cut up onions quickly first cut off both ends. Then cut them in half. This makes peeling off the outer skin super easy. Set each half on the flat side and then dice them.
- Caramelize the onions: Add the oil and the onions to a large heavy-bottomed skillet. You will want to use medium heat for this. You don't want the onions to burn, you just want to get a nice light golden brown color on the onion. This process takes a while, be patient and watch the heat. If it starts to get to hot just turn it down. Continue to gently stir the onions as they cook so they caramelize evenly.
- Add the herbs and the sugar to the pan. DO NOT STIR: For this step, you will want to sprinkle the sugar so that it is covering the onions evenly. However, don't stir.
- Raise the heat to HIGH: With this step, you just need to step back and witness the miracle of sugar science. Watch the sugar closely it will start to bubble and then it will start to turn a nice golden brown. You will be watching around the edges. The center of the sugar may still be a light color, that is fine. Once the edges are a brown and the entire mixture is bubbling, reduce the heat to low. (DO NOT AT ANY TIME TRY TO PUT YOUR FINGER IN THE SUGAR)
- Add the vinegar: Now you can stir the entire mixture.
- Bring to a simmer: Bring the mixture back to a simmer and simmer until the strong vinegar smell is gone. This will take a few minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat.
- Let the jam cool: After the Onion Jam is completely cooled you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 months.
How to make a Bacon Onion Jam
Here is where we take a master recipe and do a few tweaks to make a different version of savory jam. You already know the basic formula for a savory onion jam so how can we make it next-level delicious.
SWAP: EVOO for Bacon Grease.
Follow the remainder of the recipe exactly the same. You can also add in a little finely diced bacon after you take the mixture off of the heat. I will leave it up you to determine how much bacon is enough.
You will need a one-quarter cup of bacon grease: This means it's time to cook up some bacon!
When you are cooking bacon please for the love of God do not burn it.
Bacon should be cooked slow and low. You want to GENTLY carmelize the bacon, whilst rendering out all of the delicious bacon fat. There is no bigger sin than scorched bacon.
I would use a half-pound of bacon. Depending on how lean your bacon is that should give you enough bacon grease. You may have more or less. You can save any extra bacon fat in the fridge.
PRO-TIP: Buy the thick-cut bacon from the butcher's counter. It has a lot less water in it than package bacon so you get less of that evil bacon grease popping.
Caramelized Onion Jam
Onion Jam Instructions
- Add the diced onions and the oil to a large saucepan.
- Caramelize onions on med-high heat until translucent and golden brown. Stir occasionaly.
- Add in herbs and sugar. DO NOT STIR.
- Raise the heat to high and let sugar melt until the mixture becomes golden and bubbly. Still DO NOT STIR.
- After the mixture is golden and bubbly, reduce the heat to low and the add vinegar and salt. Now you can stir.
- Cook until the mixture no longer has a strong vinegar smell. Approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool. Remove the herbs.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 3 months.