Pan-Fry

Bacon, Vidalia, and Dried Plum Relish

June  3, 2014
Author Notes

Different from the bacon "jam" recipes floating around, this relish is sweetened only with plums, vidalia onions, and a touch of maple syrup. Pair this with a creamy Camembert, then spread on crackers or slices of baguette for a delightful hors d'oeuvre. —Mary Catherine Tee

Test Kitchen Notes

My family loves to order restaurant-made baked brie with sweet fruit sauces. I have more of a savory tooth so this less-sweet variation by Mary Tee Malmberg was a must-try for me. The recipe came together very easily, though I fried the bacon in two batches -- 1 1/2 pounds is a lot of bacon! If you want a chunky salsa consistency as Mary suggests, stop and check after about six pulses on your food processor -- it goes quickly. Note that with all that bacon, there's a good bit of chewiness to the relish. We liked the finished relish but felt it needed "a little something" to brighten it a bit. I found that a touch of chipotle in adobo was just the thing to give the relish some zing. —cookbookchick

  • Makes 24 ounces
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds bacon
  • 1 large vidalia onion (or 2 medium), thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 3/4 cup beer of your choice (I used Blue Moon)
  • 1 cup prunes, pitted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Cut bacon in 1-inch pieces and throw in a large frying pan. Fry over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and put directly in a crockpot.
  2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup beer. Simmer for about a minute. Add onion and garlic mixture to the crockpot, along with the bacon.
  3. Add prunes, remaining beer, syrup, and spices to crockpot and stir. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  4. Once done, discard bay leaf and transfer everything from the crockpot to a food processor and pulse until it's the consistency of a chunky salsa. Serve immediately over warm Camembert with crackers and bread.
  5. Note: You could also spoon 1/2 cup of the relish over an uncut wheel of camembert and heat everything in a 350° F oven for about 20 minutes.
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I’m an old soul. My favorite Saturday morning activity is watching birds on the feeder while drinking strong, black coffee out of my favorite hand-thrown mug. My favorite place to kill time is in antique stores. The less organized the better. I like full-bodied red wines and bitter IPAs. I live for feeling the warmth of sunshine and hearing the stillness of freshly fallen snow. I can thank my stint in Alaska for that. I have salt water in my veins, having grown up in Eastern NC, and (shhh…don’t tell any of my Mainer friends this about me) I prefer blue crab over lobster.