This year’s Derby was low key. Derby fell on the same day as a local TEDx event that I was co-catering, so I went for basics, including Kentucky Hot Browns. Traditionally, it’s a toasted piece of bread topped with sliced turkey covered in Mornay sauce, broiled until golden brown, and then topped with crispy bacon and tomato. I used roasted chicken, Swiss cheese (no Mornay) and a bacon onion jam with tomatillos. I really wanted to use green tomatoes, to keep the southern style. We just needed to go a little further south.
I ate spoonfuls of this before it made it to the sandwiches. The remaining jam is in the refrig waiting for another sandwich. I need to do a better job of straining the bacon fat. I don’t mind the cooled lard taste but jam doesn’t look as pretty a week later.
What you need:
- 1 lb bacon, chopped
- 1 Vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 4-5 tomatillos, chopped (about 1 c)
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 1/4 c bourbon
- Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
What you do:
- Fry bacon in cast iron skillet until crispy (finish in the oven, if desired) reserving bacon fat
- Add onion, tomatillos and brown sugar to bacon fat in skillet and sauté for 15 min.
- Add maple syrup and bourbon.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for another 10-15 min until majority of liquid cooks off.
- Transfer to processor and process until desired smoothness of jam is reached.
- Add bacon and process quickly if you’d like some chunks; more if you want it smoother.
- Transfer to storage container (I used 4-oz mason jars.)