True Jamaican Jerk would generally be whole chickens, split, whacked good, and smoked over pimento (allspice) wood. So if you have a smoker, go for it. If you donít even have a grill (*coughfrodiscough*), try it in the oven. Youíll need the marinade to caramelize, so make sure if you slow roast it in the oven, the good crust is formed (i.e., donít hide it under foil the whole time).
You can adjust the heat to your liking. The habaneros at the store were rather disgusting looking, so I used our homemade habanero hot sauce from last summer. In a pinch, you can use any hot sauce or hot pepper, but habaneros have a little inherent sweetness that will improve your marinade. Two habaneros will give you a very spicy marinade, but it doesnít come through as a really hot burn in the final product. If you like really spicy foods, put in two habaneros. If you are more timid, try just one small one. AND FOR CODíS SAKE, WEAR GLOVES WHEN CUTTING HOT PEPPERS!!! Cannot even close to stand heat? Leave them out and put a little more black pepper in.
Now, the meat. I like pork roasts (the really marbled cheap ones are great!) and dark chicken best for this, even though Iím more of a white meat girl. Boneless skinless chicken breasts are next on my lists. I tried bone-in breasts for this and they were just too meaty to really pick up the seasoning well. If you donít eat the skin on chicken, remove it before cooking, as youíll really want the yummy caramelized marinade to remain part of your meal.
Again, Qwertyís sweet potato fries, Seanaís coleslaw or Arkieís calabacitas would make a great side dish. Dishes with sweet potatoes, rice and/or black beans, and even grilled pineapple are also delish! The side youíll see here is simple grilled onions, peppers, and corn, tossed with brown rice, cilantro, salt and orange juice.
Caribbean Jerk Pork
Prep time: about 15 minutes
Marinade time: at least one hour, overnight is better for pork
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
1 bunch scallions/green onions (about five stalks), both ends removed and discarded, chopped into 2Ē sections
2 Ĺ tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Ĺ tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Ĺ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. black pepper
2 habaneros, coarsely chopped (REMINDER: Wear gloves)
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil (olive can be used in a pinch)
2 Tbsp. white or apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 pork roast, any size (ok, if you get one that serves eight or more, youíll need more marinade!)
1. Place all ingredients except pork in a blender. Blend on high until smooth (about 15 seconds). Set aside while you prepare pork.
2. If you have a pork roast, youíll want to flatten it out to allow more surface area. The easiest way to do this is to cut it in half horizontally, but donít cut all the way through. Stop about one inch before your knife goes all the way through.
Spread the meat open into one big, flat piece.
Pound to an even thickness (i.e., get out the bumps). Use a fork, spiked tenderizer, etc. to pierce the pork throughout.
3. Place pork in a re-sealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over pork. Shake around the bag and rub the marinade into the pork. Place in fridge at least one hour. With pork, especially, the longer the better. Ideally, do this all the day before. For chicken, be careful as the citrus may toughen the meat if it sits more than a few hours.
4. Remove pork from fridge at least fifteen minutes before grilling. Prepare grill by spraying cooking spray on grates or coating with oil and then heat to approximately 350 degrees (generally this means a lower heat).
5. Remove meat from marinade (OPTIONAL: Reserve a little marinade, boil on the stove with some orange juice for a finishing sauce) and place meat on the grill. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until pork reaches approximately 155 degrees and thereís good caramelization on the outside of the meat. Remove from grill and let rest for a few minutes (in foil is best, to keep the meat moist).
6. Slice pork and serve, Mon.
-A Tribetastic Creation