If you haven’t yet tasted bacon jam, you don’t know what you’re missing. In combination with these delicious grilled rosemary flatbreads, it becomes an elegant starter that kids of all ages will fall in love with.
There is something magical about any recipe with bacon in it. It never fails to add a certain smokey, salty richness to a dish.
So, of course, I was excited the first time I saw bacon jam in a cookbook! Two delicious things, united by a touch of heat. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Bacon jam has a magical sweet, salty, earthy richness that goes well with just about everything. However, pairing this rich jam with grilled rosemary flatbreads is a match made in heaven.
This incredibly delicious South African recipe is just one gem among many to be found in Jean Nel’s classic book, More Braai the Beloved Country.
About the Book
More Braai the Beloved Country is the sequel to Jean Nel’s terrific book, Braai the Beloved Country. Thus, it is essential reading for anyone who owns a kettle grill and wants to make better use of it.
If you’re not South African, you may be wondering what the heck a braai is. It’s simply the Afrikaans word for grill.
If you know anything at all about South Africa, you will realise that this is a grill-obsessed nation. In fact, South Africans love their grills so much that the Heritage Day holiday in spring is frequently referred to informally as “National Braai Day”.
In this braai-loving nation, Jean Nel stands out amongst its grilling experts. His favourite tool is the kettle grill, and he uses it masterfully.
If you’re inexperienced with the grill, don’t worry. The introduction to More Braai the Beloved Country is Jean Neal’s succinct master course in the basics of kettle grilling. His simple language and clear illustrations will teach you how to use a kettle grill to prepare easy, five star meals. Nell covers a range of topics from cleaning the grill, to controlling the heat and managing flare ups.
However, what really sets this second book apart is the sheer range of recipes. With this sequel, Jean Nel takes us on a whirlwind grilling adventure across the globe. His recipes run the gamut from Korean Mushrooms with Soy, Sesame and Ginger to Brazilian Rump Kebabs with Smoky Tomato-Pepper Salsa. He even throws in some classic barbecue sides from the kitchen, like Chakalaka Bread and Quinoa Salad.
Whether you’re a novice, just getting started with a new kettle braai, or a pit master, this book will help you expand your repertoire and entertain in the multicultural style of this gorgeous rainbow nation.
About this Recipe
Of all the stunning recipes in More Braai the Beloved Country, I chose the Bacon Jam on Braaied Rosemary Flatbreads for two reasons:
- The grill is an excellent place to bake breads and desserts; and
- Bacon jam is one of the best condiments I’ve discovered in a long time.
While this recipe does take a little bit of forethought and planning, the lip-smacking results are worth the effort. The jam can easily be prepared the day before your braai and the flatbreads come together in mere minutes.
I normally prepare the flatbread dough about half an hour before lighting my fire. That way, the dough is ready when the fire is hot.
It’s actually a lot easier than you may think. And, trust me, if your family enjoys this nibble as much as mine does, it’s 100% worth it. Bon appétit!
Bacon Jam on Braaied Rosemary Flatbreads, a Recipe from More Braai the Beloved Country
The tart, sweet, spicy bacon jam is a delightful foil for these simple rosemary flatbreads. A simple, elegant appetiser or side that is sure to surprise and delight your friends and family.
- For the Bacon Jam
- 250 g bacon, chopped in 1 cm pieces
- 3 large, white onions, finely sliced
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) dried chilli flakes
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) mustard seeds
- 80 g brown sugar
- 90 ml (about 1/3 c) balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the flatbreads
- 250 g bread flour
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) active dry yeast
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) salt
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped, fresh rosemary
- 200 ml hot water
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil plus more for brushing
- Step 1 Add the bacon to a large frying pan, over a medium heat. Fry for 5-6 minutes, remove from the pan and set aside. Keep some of the bacon fat in the pan. Add the onions and sweat until translucent. This should take between 8 and 10 minutes. Add the chilli, garlic, mustard seeds and brown sugar, and stir until the onion caramelises. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and let it cook for another 10 minutes. It’s crucial that you stay close to the jam now or it may burn. Add the bacon bits, stir through and season. The jam should be of a sticky consistency when done.
- Step 2 For the flatbreads, sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast, salt and rosemary. Make a well in the centre, then add the hot water and olive oil and mix to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball, then put it in an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and let it rise in a warm place for 50-60 minutes. It should double in size. Punch down the dough and divide into quarters. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface to make a 8-10 cm long oval.
- Step 3 Brush the bread dough with a little olive oil and braai over a low heat for 5-6 minutes. Brush the top with olive oil, turn over and braai for a further 4-5 minutes.
- Step 4 Spread the bacon jam over the hot flatbreads and serve.
More Braai the Beloved Country by Jean Nel is a gem of a cookbook you’ll want in your collection It is available locally from Yuppiechef, takealot.com, and Makro. It is also available internationally at Amazon.com.