Smoked Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam

 

Prep Time: 25 min. - Cook Time: 1 hour - Total Time: 1 hour 25 min.

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

 Bacon Jam:

  • 1 pkg (12 oz) Goodnight Brothers Hickory Smoked Dry Cured Bacon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and allspice
  • Pinch ground cloves

Grilled Cheese:

  • 8 slices sourdough bread (about 1/2-inch thick slices)
  • 8 thick slices smoked aged Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup prepared apple butter

Instructions:

  1. Bacon Jam: Cook bacon in skillet set over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until fat is rendered and bacon is golden and crisp around edges. Transfer bacon to plate. Reserve 2 tbsp bacon fat.
  2. Melt butter in large saucepan set over medium heat; cook onions, salt and granulated sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often, for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized.
  3. Stir in brown sugar, bacon, apple, vinegar, maple syrup, reserved bacon fat, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and cloves; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture is thickened to jam-like consistency. Let cool completely. (Can be refrigerated in sealed airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)
  4. Grilled Cheese: Spread 2 tbsp Bacon Jam on each of 4 slices of bread; top with cheese slices. Cap with remaining bread. Lightly butter outside of sandwiches.
  5. Preheat large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat; cook sandwiches, turning once, for 5 to 8 minutes or until bread is golden brown and cheese melts. Cut sandwiches in half and serve with apple butter.

 Tip: Use bacon jam on burgers, with eggs or as a stuffing for mushrooms.