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The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast sandwich
Elizabeth Heiskell, the \"Debutante Farmer,\" shares her recipe for a mouth-watering bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich. Heiskell layers a fried egg and bacon jam on buttered sourdough bread.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Upgrade classic bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches with bacon jam, griddle-cooked eggs, gooey melted Gruyere and peppery arugula.


Bacon Jam (Makes 1½ to 2 cups)
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • 2 small sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot (2 cloves), peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 slices thick-cut hearty, whole grain bread or your bread of choice
  • 1 cup Bacon Jam (above)
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
  • cup arugula, divided


For the bacon jam:


Set a large Dutch oven or heavy skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Keep all the bacon fat in the pan; do not discard.


Lower the heat to medium. Stir in the onions and shallots, and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup, vinegar, Dijon, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in 1.2 cup of water and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally if necessary. Cook until the jam has a glassy appearance and syrup-like consistency, about 1 hour.


Allow the mixture to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and pulse a few times to puree the larger pieces stopping every pulse or tow to stir and check the consistency. It should be thick and chunky, not a paste. Transfer to an airtight container. Bacon Jam can be refrigerated for up to one month. Serve at room temperature.

For the ultimate breakfast sandwich:


Heat griddle to 350°F. Melt enough butter to coat the griddle. Crack the egg and cook until yolk is desired firmness.


Lay out four slices of bread. Spread each slice with bacon jam. Mound Gruyere cheese and top with arugula. Finish with cooked egg on top. Finally, place a slice of bread on top.


Generously spread outside of bread with room temperature butter. Place buttered bread face down on griddle. While the sandwich is toasting, spread butter on the top piece of bread. Once the bread on the bottom is nicely toasted flip the sandwich with a spatula and press down. Once both sides are browned, plate and serve immediately.