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Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam

Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam - Pure, delicious comfort food! Cheesy creamy polenta slices topped with an amazing bacon jam. Fantastic!

This post is sponsored by Jones Dairy Farm. All opinions are 100% mine (as well as Jack’s).

When it comes to food, anytime my husband Jack declares that something is “the best” he’s ever had – I take notice because he doesn’t say something like that very often! With his years of professional experience in the food service industry, where Jack managed numerous kitchens and purchased the ingredients to prepare the food that his staff served, he developed an eye (and a taste) for excellent quality foods.

So the other day as we started to develop this recipe – this fantastic Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam – it was our first time cooking with Jones Dairy Farm’s Cherrywood Smoked Bacon. We’ve been fans of Jones’ other products for some time, but we never had this particular bacon before!

Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam - Pure, delicious comfort food! Cheesy creamy polenta slices topped with an amazing bacon jam. Fantastic!

That day, I overheard Jack talking to himself in the kitchen saying, “Oh my God…” – and I knew he was on to something delicious! According to Jack, this Jones Dairy Farm Cherrywood Smoked Bacon is THE BEST bacon he’s ever had! And I have to agree – especially when it’s been made into this fantastic bacon jam served over creamy, cheesy grilled polenta!

The delicious smoky flavor of the thick slab, dry-aged bacon is balanced in our jam with a mix of sautéed onions and shallots, garlic, brown sugar, and two kinds of vinegar – but we’ve given it even more wonderful, deeper flavor thanks to the addition of coffee, bourbon and other spices and seasonings! And we’ve served it over slices of wonderfully, creamy polenta that have been grilled until warm and lightly golden brown.

This seriously-good dish is great as an appetizer, or as a light but very satisfying meal served alongside a salad or some soup!

Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam - Pure, delicious comfort food! Cheesy creamy polenta slices topped with an amazing bacon jam. Fantastic!

We’re so happy to be partnering with Jones Dairy Farm to bring you another delicious recipe featuring their natural and wholesome products!  To learn more about Jones Dairy Farm, just visit their website. Or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

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Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam

Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam - A Family Feast

This recipe will make about 3 to 4 cups of jam. You will have leftover jam after serving with the polenta. Keep refrigerated for up to a week or freeze in zipper seal bags for up to six months.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Bacon Jam

  • 1 ½ pounds Jones Dairy Farm Cherrywood Smoked Bacon, diced
  • 2 cups Vidalia onions sliced
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • ½ cup shallots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup agave nectar or honey
  • ¾ cup very strong brewed coffee
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Polenta

  • 1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • ½ cup polenta, (also known as corn grits – do not use instant polenta)
  • ¼ cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, used to grill the polenta

Instructions

To make the Bacon Jam

  1. In a medium pot over medium high heat, render diced bacon until crisp and remove with a spider strainer (see here) or slotted spoon. Pour out bacon fat and reserve ¼ cup in the pan. (This Jones Cherrywood Smoked Bacon is so lean, there will only be ½ cup of bacon fat left in the pan, which you will use half of for the next step).
  2. Over medium heat add both onions, shallots and garlic and cook for three minutes.
  3. Add cooked bacon back in along with all other jam ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook to reduce liquid to a syrupy consistency, about 25 minutes.
  4. Cool for five minutes and pour into a food processor. Pulse 6 times to just break up ingredients. Mixture will be coarse.
  5. While bacon jam is simmering, make polenta.

To Make the Polenta

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat stock and cream to just boiling. Add spices, semolina and polenta and whisk to incorporate ingredients. Cook over a simmer for six minutes. Mixture will be thick so stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in both cheeses.
  3. Line a shallow quarter sheet pan (like this one) (or other pan that is approximately 9×13”) with plastic wrap letting wrap flow over edges of pan.
  4. Pour polenta into plastic lined pan and spread evenly using an offset spatula.
  5. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes until cool and firm.
  6. When ready to serve, remove polenta from pan by lifting with the plastic and place on cutting board. Cut polenta into about 16-20 pieces (squares or triangles). Heat a grill pan (ribbed or not, your choice) and melt butter and place polenta smooth side down and grill just to heat and brown bottom. Grill both sides or just one side, your choice.
  7. Heat jam to at least room temperature or warmer in a pan or microwave.
  8. Place two to four pieces of grilled polenta on a small plate and top with a few spoons of jam and serve.

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

You may also like this other recipe featuring Jones Dairy Farm products:

Smoked Ham with Butternut Squash over Noodles

Smoked Ham with Butternut Squash Over Noodles - A Family Feast

Sausage and Ricotta Pizza

Sausage and Ricotta Pizza - A Family Feast

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu - A Family Feast

Sausage and Apple Empanadas

Sausage and Apple Empanadas - A Family Feast

Comments

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  1. Well I will always trust a man when it comes to food. If your husband said that this is the best ever I am trusting him and handing this recipe to my wife.

  2. My favorite bacon recipe is just CRISPY Bacon! Also a good BLT with Crispy Bacon.

  3. New England Clam Chowder

  4. Phyllis G Davis :

    Truly, is there anything better than bacon. I would love to win.

  5. Bacon jam is wonderful on many things and I’m sure this recipe will be great. I can’t wait to try it!

  6. This looks amazing! I love polenta and use it as a base for all sorts of toppings. But bacon jam sounds incredible and I know the whole family would go crazy for it. My favorite way to use bacon is in corn chowder.

  7. I love polenta…it’s got such a nice texture

  8. Oh my! I am a huge bacon fan and I would love this!

  9. I like to put bacon in my mac ‘n cheese! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Wow, wow and wow! This looks so incredibly good. My husband would absolutely love it. Polenta is one of the few things we haven’t grilled. We must change that ASAP. I have a feeling I would want to eat your bacon jam with a spoon and hope it lasts until the polenta is done.

  11. I listen when your husband likes something, too! You two are a great team. I like my bacon with a side of bacon.

  12. What a great appetizer idea! I made bacon jam once and wanted to put it on everything.

  13. I just….want to eat this for dinner.

  14. Sarah Chuchwell :

    I love to make Bacon and Mushroom pasta with a Brown Butter Garlic sauce, with plenty of Parmesan cheese of course. Maybe I should try it out with this brand of bacon, though I usually use Maple Bacon

  15. Bacon jam! Yes please!

  16. My hubby can’t go 2 days without eating bacon so this reipe is going to become a big hit in our home! TYSM for the recipe! 🙂

  17. Sharon Columpsi :

    Bacon jam sundae!! Yum.

  18. Bacon goes good with anything, Love it! I will be sure to try this recipe , it looks so good..Thanks for all of your wonderful, delicious products.. Really like the sausage too. Thanks for the chance at this awesome giveaway!

  19. potatoe salad

  20. Bacon wrapped scallops.

  21. insightfulheart :

    My favorite recipe for using bacon is bacon/chocolate chip cookies..yummy!

  22. Oh man this sounds excellent! Bacon jam? Are you kidding me? This is a must-make recipe.

  23. My favorite recipe is broiled Brussels Sprouts with bacon and apples.

  24. Anything with bacon is my favorite, from just plain cooked bacon to bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers to bacon wrapped petit fillets. Anything is better with bacon!

  25. Denise Snyder :

    My brocolli and cauliflower salad.

  26. I love BLT’s! Let’s face it, bacon makes everything better!!

  27. BACON!! This looks deee-licious!

  28. Lori Williams :

    I love a Turkey BLT Sub with extra bacon!! YUM!! I haven’t had one in so longgggggg!!

  29. Valerie Hohenberger :

    You ABSOLUTELY had me with the words “Bacon Jam”!! As for most of the posters, bacon goes with everything and makes everything better! This is the first time I have heard of bacon jam…I thought I had heard of everything when I heard and tasted Pecan jam. Thanks for the give away opportunity!

  30. Tammy van Dongen :

    I would love to try this recipe in a new cast iron pan.

  31. I have a soft spot for Quiche Lorraine! Yummy!

  32. Mickey Louth :

    A broccoli salad that uses bacon…everything is better with bacon. I’ve seen a few posts involving that bacon jam..I’m going to have to find a recipe and try it out…sounds yummy and I think something my big boys would love to have.

  33. My favorite recipe using bacon is broccoli salad

  34. Sandy Headtke :

    Bacon with a side of bacon. And during the summer when I have homegrown tomatoes, BLT sandwiches.

  35. Sue Loberger :

    I love bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breasts.

  36. Stephanie G :

    Never heard of bacon jam, but bacon is a food group of its own in our house! thanks

  37. I love to add bacon to my baked beans.

  38. kara kjellman :

    Wrap asparagus with bacon and put in on the grill.

  39. I LOVE grilled polenta. Will have to try it with the bacon jam next time. Thanks for the great recipe and the opportunity to win the skillet.

  40. My favorite bacon recipe is an asiago pasta that uses bacon grease as a base.

  41. Debbie Lind :

    Anything with bacon is yummy but I would have to say a bacon cheeseburger. Yummy!

  42. maureen howard :

    Pure and simple….the B L T.

  43. ashley kirchner :

    mmm plain BLTs

  44. Maggie Smith :

    I can’t handle how much I adore bacon!!! I love it all by itself!!

  45. Love bacon jam!! It’s so yummy…especially made with brandied shrimp.