Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One Bite: bacon jam from P & E Mullins

Posted By on 09.26.12 at 03:39 PM

P.E. Mullins bacon jam and ciccioli
  • Mike Sula
  • P.E. Mullins' bacon jam and ciccioli

No doubt by now you're quaking in your boots (or lobotomized by boredom) over the looming bacon shortage, which, as Grubstreet pointed out, can be blamed not on drought, but on things like the bacon bra, bacon vodka, and perhaps bacon jam, the irresistible condiment popularized by the Seattle food truck Skillet Street Food.

Bacon jam's pernicious influence has even reached the eastern shores of the lake in quaint New Buffalo, Michigan. There, at P & E Mullins Local Sustainable Foods and Cured Meats, it's akin to crystal blue persuasion, selling out early every Sunday morning when it becomes available.

P & E Mullins is a small new-school butcher shop that specializes in meat, produce, and dry goods from Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. You can find some Chicago-produced stuff there and produce from local farms, but the real draw is the fresh and cured meats prepared by Pat and Ellie Mullins, the former a veteran of Blackbird and San Francisco's Pizzeria Delfina. I've done well by their smoked duck breasts and smoked Gunthorp pork chops, as well as the fatty pork-shoulder pate known as ciccioli, but despite several attempts this summer I've never scored the bacon jam.

At a dinner party this weekend, someone finally produced a jar of the meaty, sweet, and smoky stuff, which has a nicely bitter finish from the addition of coffee. I'd tell you it'd be worth an early Sunday drive if it weren't so easy to make—(also, the Mullinses are on vacation until October 5). But next time you're in the area it's well worth a stop, regardless of whether they have it or not.


P & E Mullins Local Sustainable Foods & Cured Meats,
424 E. Buffalo St., New Buffalo, MI, 269-231-5138

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