Grown-Up Lunch: Peanut Butter and Bacon Jam

In my attempt to dress up the old PB&J, I found myself drawn again and again to thoughts of Elvis. The classic peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwich has been done, by lovers of Elvis and peanut butter alike, for decades. But I couldn’t help thinking that the unique savory element of bacon had more to say in this sandwich. So I began to experiment.

I’m very pleased with the results.

I ended up making a jam out of bacon (a smoky play on peanut butter’s friend jelly), with notes of coffee, black pepper, and sherry. This jam will speak to those who enjoy their bacon with a good dose of maple syrup — but the bacon flavor definitely comes through. I have since enjoyed it not only with peanut butter, but in several other variations of sandwich (chicken, egg, etc.) and I’m betting it would play nicely with a burger as well.

The King himself would stand in line for this sandwich. Bring this in your lunchbox and you’ll be the coolest kid in school. Or…wherever you enjoy your lunch.

Lily Bellow graduated in 2009 from Harvard University with a degree in English Literature. While in college, she bartended and cooked at the campus pub, and as a result has a difficult time eating chicken wings. She is the Managing Editor for Small Kitchen College.


Peanut Butter and Bacon Jam Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices whole wheat or french country bread, whichever you prefer
3-4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 batch bacon jam, recipe follows (there will be leftovers)

Toast your bread.

Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter (depending on your taste for peanut butter) on each slice of bread.

Spread a couple tablespoons (again, depending on taste) of bacon jam onto each of the 2 remaining slices of plain bread.

Sandwich together. This is also excellent with cape cod potato chips.

Bacon Jam
Adapted slightly from Not Quite Nigella
Makes about 1/2 cup, or enough for 4-6 sandwiches

1/2 lb. bacon (about 8 strips)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
tabasco to taste (about 4 drops is probably good)
1/2 cup coffee
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
several grinds of black pepper
4-5 tablespoons of sherry, or to taste

Fry the bacon in a medium skillet until light brown. Remove from the pan and let cool for a couple minutes, and cut the strips to small, 1″ pieces with a pair of kitchen shears or scissors. Set aside.

Fry the onion and garlic in the same pan with the rendered bacon fat over medium heat until translucent, 3-5 minutes.

Transfer the bacon, onion, and garlic to a medium sized heavy-bottomed pot and add the remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours, watching to be sure it doesn’t burn and adding 1/4 cup of water every 20 minutes. You can also taste as you go and add sherry or more pepper as needed.

Originally posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

3 Responses to “Grown-Up Lunch: Peanut Butter and Bacon Jam”

  1. daniella herrara

    November 22nd, 2011

    This is without question the most bizarre post yet on a normally brilliant-within-the-lines site. WTF. Okay. I’ll try it. I will try. But I’m telling you right now that if it tastes awful you’re gonna hear about it. I did send this to my friend who’s a bacon freak, so maybe you’re onto something. I’m wondering if the bacon jam could go on pasta. Hmmmm. Bacon balls instead of meatballs? Just roll that jam into balls and put them on pasta? I think I just developed a subsidiary brand.

    I want to encourage you to be whacky, but I’m a bit frightened by where you’re heading. What next? Caper Chews? Anchovy ice cream? I’m scared.

    Back to you soon on the results…

  2. Ruth Newton

    November 22nd, 2011

    WOW! I dunno, I’m sure, but even though Elvis doesn’t send me, I’m going to try it.

  3. Jin Mako

    November 22nd, 2011

    Bizarre, yes. Bizarre but delicious. The tabasco is key, but watch out for the tasting as you go. I ate the first batch and needed to start over. Just made it for my girlfriend! She was so impressed.

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