Smoked Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam
Prep Time: 25 min. - Cook Time: 1 hour - Total Time: 1 hour 25 min.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.