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Dean Sample’s Bacon Jam Recipe – Indianapolis Monthly

Whip up a batch of this savory and sweet condiment from the owner of Big Bear Biscuits.

Dean’s Chef Sample has worked in some of Indy’s finest gourmet kitchens including Oakleys Bistro, Meridian Restaurant & Bar and Northside Social. That wasn’t always the plan, however. “When I went to culinary school, I wanted to open a country restaurant that would serve the food I grew up eating,” says Sample, originally from the small town of Paragon, Morgan County. “My grandmother taught me to do a lot of things,” he says. “It’s quite funny. Growing up, I was interested in eating and not necessarily cooking. But as a family, we always sat in the kitchen, so I watched everything she did.

On Sundays they ate cookies and gravy, which inspired Sample to Big bear cookies (3905 E. 96th St.), its a la carte breakfast and lunch spot is set to open this summer. Big Bear’s main attraction, cookies as flaky and chewy as the ones Sample ate in his grandmother’s kitchen, will be served in classic B&G form, of course, but also stuffed with spicy Asian chicken or short ribs with kimchi and Korean barbecue sauce. . To create your own cookie masterpiece, brush on a layer of this sweet and savory bacon jam that works both as a condiment or, applied liberally, on its own.


  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of water


  1. Dice all the bacon and render until brown and crispy.
  2. Add the onions and cook until softened.
  3. Add garlic and remaining ingredients except cornstarch and water.
  4. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Make a slurry of cornstarch and water and add to the mixture.
  6. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. Blend until smooth.

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