This baked brie is a perfect choice if your taste buds favor more savory than sweet dishes. Salty creamy brie is nestled into a bread bowl and loaded with slow-cooked onions mixed with smoky bacon and just a touch of vinegar and brown sugar to balance it all. Recipe developed by Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen.
Put the bacon in a large nonstick skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook until the fat renders, about 5 minutes, then add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs and garlic; reduce the heat to medium low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is browned and broken down, 30 to 35 minutes, adding the vinegar and brown sugar in the last 5 to 10 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add a splash of water and scrape up any browned bits. Remove from the heat; stir in the mustard and parsley.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Put the brie in the freezer to firm up, 5 to 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice off the top one-third of the bread loaf (reserve the top). Hollow out the bread so that the brie will fit inside. Slice the top and insides of the bread; drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the sliced bread on one baking sheet and put the bread bowl on the other.
Remove the brie from the freezer and trim off the top rind. Fit the brie inside the bread bowl and top with the onion jam, discarding the thyme stems. Transfer both baking sheets to the oven and bake until the bread is toasted and the brie is hot, about 10 minutes for the sliced bread and 15 to 20 minutes for the bread bowl. Sprinkle the brie with thyme. Serve with the toasted bread.