Friday, June 17, 2011

Meat Jams: A Tri-Coastal Tasting

Meat, fat, sugar, fruit and time. These are the things that make up meat jams. There has been a recent fascination from this blog and others with the various flavors of rib jam made by Will Fleischman of Lockhart Smokehouse. My affection for this concoction had me seeking other meat jams, and I found a couple on opposite coasts.

Bacon Marmalade, 4 oz., $15 includes shipping

Bacon Marmalade comes directly from Brooklyn, New York. The ingredient list reads "bacon, sugar, water vinegar, and secrets". The texture was like dry grits, and while spreadable, this is not your average fruit jam. I enjoyed the flavor of this one most with it's deep smokey notes and unmistakable bacon goodness. Originally, Il Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum was using this stuff on their 'Delia' pizza, but now the bacon marmalade is house made and available only on their pies. It's a wetter mix with larger chunks of bacon and a much more vivid vinegar kick. Owner Jay Jerrier says he uses it on vanilla ice cream.

'Delia Pizza' at Il Cane Rosso

I tried the Brooklyn version on a pizza of my own at home with some leftover lamb sausage I had from Lucia, and the resulting flavors were beyond complex, and perfectly satisfying.

Rib Jam, $5 (previously $3), 8 oz., no shipping available

Second up was the rib jam from Lockhart Smokehouse. On this day it was made with cherries (I've seen blackberry and apple as well), rib ends, brown sugar and some BBQ rub. There may have been some whiskey in this batch as well. While I really enjoy the flavor of this one, it is less complex and more watery than the bacon marmalade. It tastes like a reduction of sweet meat with a punch of smoke and unexpected flavor combinations. This one is best on it's own or with some crackers. I've also enjoyed it as a condiment on breakfast tacos.

Bacon Jam, 8 oz., $22.75 includes shipping

Bacon jam is the brain-child of Skillet Street Food in Seattle. They use it on burgers, and suggest using it on grilled cheese and baked potatoes. I'd suggest adding it to your baked beans since that what it already tastes like. Something about the reduction of bacon, onions vinegar, sugar and spices is what I would imagine a bean juice reduction to taste like. One this I do not recommend for this one is to eat it with plan crackers. It just doesn't shine on it's own like the other two.

The above dish is the brain child of myself and my two brothers-in-law. A little butter in the pan, two slices of pound cake and some bacon jam in between. Served a la mode, it was a salty and sweet treat that's best for sharing.

- BBQ Snob


mdutch said...

Do you have any experience with yankee "mincemeat"? Not the canned stuff made from apples, but real venison mincemeat? This seems a parallel kind of dish -- though I believe the yankee variety was a sweet-savory way to preserve meat and fruit through the long winter.
I'll have to give this bacon wonderfulness a try -- sounds fantastic!

Beth said...

I think it's great you have such a close relationship withJohn and Jeff you can call them "bothers-in law"! See you at the wedding of bother in law #1.


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.