A couple of weeks ago I had the idea of creating different relishes to serve with meats and salads. Now, I may not be actually meeting a textbook definition of relish but to me a relish is a chunky mixture of contrasting but balanced flavours.
Tonight I made a bacon and onion relish to serve on a grilled chicken salad. It was dead simple and very delicious.
- 2 lbs bacon, cooked crispy and chopped or crumbled
- 2 onions, diced
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- black pepper
- a dash of red chili flakes
Chop the raw bacon and cook in a large pan until it is nice and crispy and dark. (Note: this is not nice and crispy and dark yet!)
Using a slotted spoon, pull the cooked bacon out of the pan. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of the rendered bacon fat. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft.
Once the onions are cooked, add the remaining ingredients plus the cooked bacon. I started out by adding some of the juice first to deglaze the bacony goodness from the bottom of the pan before adding everything else.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated or thickened up.
The finished relish is tangy with a bit of sweetness from the apple juice and smokiness from the bacon. We had this over romaine lettuce with fresh tomatoes and grilled chicken tonight (like a kicked up BLT!). I’m planning on serving it on burgers with homemade BBQ sauce tomorrow.