I love Busy Bee — it’s great for a night of rare craft beers, and has a surprisingly well-crafted menu for “a beer bar.” Their Bacon Jam Burger is a guilty pleasure of mine. And try spooning some of the bacon jam out the burger (don’t worry, there’s plenty!) and spreading it over their tater tots. Angels literally sang last time I did that. Any chance I could get the recipe, to elevate my burgers – and everything else I can think of – at home?
Busy Bee Cafe chef David Mitchell gladly shared the recipe for bacon jam, which he serves slathered on top of a burger.
Mitchell first made this porky jam for the Beer and Bacon Festival in Cary almost three years ago. Afterward, it appeared on the restaurant’s menu, and he has not been able to take it off.
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One reason Mitchell loves this recipe is its versatility. Beyond being a burger topping, Mitchell recommends adding bacon jam to grilled cheese sandwiches or macaroni and cheese, using it as a topping for French toast, waffles or toasted bread with fresh figs, or as a ravioli filling or to make a quick pasta sauce with a little chicken stock.
Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, The N&O, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Busy Bee Cafe
225 S. Wilmington St., RaleighPhone
Busy Bee’s Bacon Jam
From chef David Mitchell of Busy Bee Cafe in Raleigh.
1 pound bacon
3 1/4 cups sliced sweet onions
3/4 cup coffee
2/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic cloves
1 cup brown sugar
In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until fat starts to render out, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add onions and cook until caramelized, another 5 to 10 minutes.
While bacon and onions are cooking, combine coffee, bourbon, maple syrup, chipotle peppers, garlic cloves and brown sugar in a medium bowl; stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Once onions are softened and caramelized, add the other ingredients and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. Let mixture cool. Blend in a food processor until smooth.
Yield: about 3 to 4 cups.