Jackson-Triggs Executive Chef Tim Mackiddie presents Sparkling Wine Maple Bacon Jam.
This year feels like its been one big celebration. Everyone has been going all out for Canada 150 – looking for an opportunity to kick back and celebrate what it means to be Canadian, on our big day and beyond.
At the Jackson-Triggs winery, the sun has been out and we’ve welcomed thousands of guests for tours, tastings, and concerts at our outdoor Amphitheatre. These Canadian artists got me thinking about ‘jamming’ along and how I could create a symphony of the flavours, using wine and other ingredients that are iconically Canadian.
I had a chance to catch up with JUNO award winning musical artist Sam Roberts and convinced him to put down the guitar, roll up his sleeves and get in the kitchen with me for a ‘jam session’.
We both have a love for maple syrup, so we concocted a Jackson-Triggs Sparkling Wine Maple Bacon Jam as a tribute to our home and native land. And I have to say: it is delicious! The sparkling wine cuts through the richness of the maple and bacon flavours, while adding liveliness to the palate that keeps you coming back for more. It’s a simple recipe you can easily make at home, perfect for entertaining on Canada Day weekend.
If, like me, you’ve got guests coming round to enjoy a bite with you, keeping stress-free is a must. I’ve prepared a few simple tips to keep you on track while you’re planning your party.
Enjoy what’s around you: summer is a great season for produce, so start with inspiration from what’s available at the farmer’s market. From blueberries to stone fruit, fresh, local and seasonal ingredients always taste better.
Keep it simple: pick simple flavours that pack a punch and can be used in a variety of ways. Even appetizers can be elevated with the addition of a great topping, like a salsa or jam (like my Sparkling Maple Bacon Jam!)
Prepare ahead of time: do as much preparation as you can before the actual day – there’s no shame in reheating something you’ve made ahead of time.
Pair your wines: throw out the rule book that says white wine has to be paired with chicken or fish and red wine with red meats. Try different food and wine pairings that suit your tastes. Jackson-Triggs has a variety of wines my family loves and yours will too. Wine pairings add a certain sophistication and harmonize the flavours in your food – it’s a win-win.
Put some homegrown names on high rotation: Jackson-Triggs has long been a supporter of Canadian music and it’s a big part of what I enjoy at the winery. I’m constantly jamming along to my favourite local acts, shuffling between upbeat and chilled out tunes to suit my mood and the type of dishes I’m cooking. Each song and songwriter has a personality, just like each bottle of wine does.
Allow yourself to go off-recipe, find something new and get excited about the food you’re cooking – who knows, you might just have your own ‘jam session’ the next time you’re in the kitchen!
Jackson-Triggs Sparkling Maple Bacon Jam
Recipe by Jackson-Triggs Executive Chef, Tim Mackiddie
“I love this jam on top of a great Canadian beef burger paired with a full-bodied red wine like Shiraz or Meritage. Even the humble grilled cheese sandwich gets a makeover with a spoonful of this flavourful jam.”
Makes roughly 6 cups
- 1lb sliced bacon, cut into 1 cm strips
- 1lb fresh tomatoes, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¾ cup Jackson-Triggs sparkling wine
- ½ cup vinegar
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 4 Tbsp powdered fruit pectin
- 3 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp four spice (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, add in the diced bacon and cook until very crispy. Remove the bacon and allow to cool on paper towel.
- Strain off all fat that remains in the pan and pour into a medium pot.
- Heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat; add in the reserved bacon fat then the onions and garlic. Cook until just soft (roughly 3-5 minutes).
- Next add in the tomato, wine, vinegar, maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce.
- Bring to a simmer, then turn heat to low and simmer until the tomatoes just begin to break down (roughly 10-15 minutes).
- Stir through the fruit pectin, smoked paprika and crisped bacon.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil while continuing to stir. Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes.
- To finish, season with salt, pepper and four spice (if using).
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