The pairing of whiskey and country ham is one of the most timeless and reliably delicious in all of Southern cuisine. And at the 404 Kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee, chef Matt Bolus has devised a fresh way to bring the two staples together. He serves shaved country ham with biscuits, red-eye gravy, and whiskey jam, a spiced fruit butter with a base of raisins, apple cider, and corn liquor. It’s strong stuff, and it pairs nicely with cured meats of all sorts, as well as cheese and, heck, just about anything else you might enjoy with a glass of brown water.
Food & Drink
Tennessee Whiskey Jam
Makes 2 quarts and 1 pint
The perfect accompaniment for ham biscuits
photo: Caroline Allison
2 3/4 plus 2 cups whiskey
2 1/2 cups golden raisins
2 cloves, whole
2 allspice berries, whole
20 black peppercorns, whole
1/2 cinnamon stick
4 strips orange peel, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 quart apple juice or non-alcoholic cider
3 tbsp. apple pectin
Bring 2 ¾ cups of whiskey to a boil.
Add raisins to a large stainless steel bowl and cover with hot whiskey. Cover with plastic wrap and let raisins rehydrate overnight.
The next morning, toast cloves, allspice berries, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and orange peel in a hot skillet until very aromatic. Combine with rehydrated raisins, and stir to incorporate. Let the mixture sit 10 minutes.
Then, in a large pot, combine it with apple juice or cider and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, allow mixture to cool substantially, and then blend it on high speed until smooth.
Strain liquid, discarding all solids, and return it to the pot. Add pectin and whisk continuously over medium-high heat until it reaches 235 degrees.
Remove from heat and whisk in the final 2 cups of whiskey. Chill.
Recipe from Matt Bolus of 404 Kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee
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