This stuff is so good, it’s evil.
It’s smokey and sweet. It’s dotted with bits of bacon and rosemary. It’s bursting with unexpected orange flavor that’s followed by a refreshing tartness from the cranberries.
I could eat bowls of this. No lie.
This is the kind of dish that folks either love or hate, depending on how you feel about bacon and fruit cooked together.
If you’re a fan, I’m willing to bet you’ll have the same reaction I did. I could hardly keep myself from jumping in the bowl, swimming around, then gobbling it all down as it cooled.
Rustic Cranberry Bacon Chutney with Rosemary and Port: OK, we get that you like it. But what do we do with it?
This chutney is super versatile and adds a wonderfully rich, autumn-y flavor to anything you pair it with. Here are some ideas for how to use it:
+Slather it on leftover roasted turkey or chicken sandwiches
+Top Belgian waffles with it
+Spread it on your morning toast
+Whisk it together with a little good olive oil for a quick dressing for baby spinach salad
+Toss chunks of chicken breast with it for chicken salad
+Use it as a garnish for pan-fried pork chops
+Serve as part of a cheese course
+Use it as a marinade for oven-roasted spare ribs (I know, I know…is there anything I won’t put on ribs?)
Or, you know, you could just eat it with a spoon.
Rustic Cranberry Bacon Chutney with Rosemary and Port
6 slices of bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 Tbls. fresh rosemary, chopped coarsely
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 Tbls. tawny port
Cut the bacon up into a fairly small pieces.
Add the bacon to a medium-size saucepan. Set on the stove over medium-high heat.
Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If it starts to burn or smoke, turn your heat down.
Your goal is to brown and crisp the bacon, like this:
When your bacon is crisp, turn the heat off.
Now, you’ll rarely hear me say this, but drain off most of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a teaspoon or two in the pan with the bacon. Too much fat can gum up your chutney when it gets cold.
Save the fat (let it cool, then cover it and stick it in the fridge)�I like to use it to fry potatoes.
Put your pan back on the stove over low heat.
Add the brown sugar to the bacon and fat in the pan.
Toss in the rosemary, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
Stir your pot to combine the ingredients well. Break up any lumps of brown sugar against the side of the pot with the back of your spoon.
Don’t fret if anything is sticking to the bottom of your pot. Your heat is on low, so it shouldn’t burn. And you’re going to deglaze the pot next.
Pour in the orange juice. Watch your face and hands, as the pot may give off a big poof of steam, depending on how hot it is.
Stir well, scraping at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.
Raise the heat to medium-high so your mixture can start to come up to a simmer.
Add the cranberries to the pot.
Cranberries freeze really well and can go straight from freezer to pot for this recipe.
Give the pot a good stir to combine everything.
Add the port. Stir to combine.
Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes up to a simmer. When it does, turn the heat down a little and cover the pot tightly.
Simmer covered for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on your pot. If it starts to bubble over (it shouldn’t…there’s not a ton of juice in there), turn the heat down a little.
After 5 minutes, uncover the pot. It should look about like this (some of the cranberries will have popped, most will still be whole):
Stir the mixture. As you stir, smoosh the cranberries against the side of the pot to pop them.
Keep the heat on medium as you do this. It will cook as you stir, evaporating some of the liquid and thickening your chutney.
When all the cranberries are popped, it should look about like this:
It should be really thick at this point.
If you have more liquid left in the pot than I do here, cook over medium heat for a minute or two more, stirring constantly to evaporate it.
It’s ready when you can draw a spoon across the bottom of the pot like this (and not have a lot of liquid leak into the cleared area):
Turn the heat off and transfer the chutney to a bowl to cool. When it’s totally cool, cover and stick it in the fridge.
The chutney will keep in the fridge for about 3 days. Enjoy!