Wednesday, September 11, 2013
We will be serving this at Olanafest, Saturday, June 21st! Come try!
Jerk is a native Jamaican concoction. It has been used for hundreds of years as a seasoning, tenderizer and preservative. A good Jerk is like a sophisticated Teriyaki. If you examine it that way, it becomes one of the best all purpose items in your fridge.
Use the dense “mud” from the settled ingredients for some good deep heat and a real island jerk flavor. Skim some of the liquid from the top and mix with a touch of pineapple juice for a mild but full flavored shrimp or snapper marinade. Add some to prepared mayo and watch that turkey sandwich dance!
Serves 6 with leftovers
Ricter heat scale- 6-7, but variable according to your taste
1 6 lb fresh ham or pork shoulder
DAY ONE: Brining
1 gallon water
¾ cup kosher salt
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup sugar
4 thyme sprigs
splash of hot sauce
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
2 tbs ground allspice
1 cinnamon stick
Dissolve all ingredients and pour over pork, ratio up as needed.
DAY TWO: Check your brine-see below…
DAY THREE: MArnated and cook
AM MARINADE / PM DINNER
3/4 cup minced white onions
4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp minced scotch bonnet peppers
(for a milder family version, use just a bit of the flesh from the bottom of the pepper for flavor without the intense heat. )
4 + 1 tablespoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup molasses
8 ounces pineapple juice
1/4 cup sunflower or or mild vegetable oil
BRINE THE PORK
To brine the pork, mix up your brine and submerge the pork in it, making sure it is covered. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days. If your pork is too big for your fridge, try this; line a small cooler with a plastic trash bag. Put the pork in the bag and cover with brine. Tie to close and cover with ice or ice packs. Cover the cooler and let brine away. Check the cooler periodically and add more ice to make sure pork remains at 40 degrees of lower.
MAKE THE MARINADE and SAUCE
Coarsely grind the onions, hot pepper, scallion, herbs and spices in a food processor. Use a rubber spatula to scrape it all out. Place the ground mix with the rest of the ingredients, except the oil and pork, in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes, stirring well frequently. Let cool. Reserve half for the sauce final cooking and the to the other half add the oil and use as marinade.
JERK THE PORK
For jerking the pork score the flesh with a sharp knife in a few places. Rub the jerk “mud” well into the pork. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
COOK IT OFF! Preheat a grill or broiler. Let the pork return to room temperature before grilling. Get out the reserved Jerk marinade
Sear the pork all over over the hottest part of the grill or under the broiler, close to the heat source, caramelizing it well. Move to a pan, baste well with the jerk sauce and add enough water to the pan to come up about in inch. Close the foil up loosely. Finish cooking slowly on a cooler part of the grill or, if broiling, turn the oven from broil to bake at 300 and finish slowly in the oven for 1-2 hours or until fully cooked to 165 degrees or more. Skim as much fat as you prefer and then add the remaiming jerk sauce to the pan juices, adding a little water of necessary to make a pourable, dark sauce.
Jerked food is better when cooked through slowly and thoroughly.
When cook enough to handle, use two forks to somewhat shred the pork and served with pan juices.
Calabazas are big Caribbean pumpkins with a plae green skin and bright orange flesh. They are similar to Hubbard squash---not too sweet but sweet enough to be an extremely versatile vegetable.
Because of their relatively high sugar and fiber content, they make a great foil for hot peppers. You will find calabaza soups, salads, cassaroles and sautes served with spicy dishes form the entire caribbean, Mexico and Central America.
If you cannot obtail Calabaza, try butternut, curry or hubbard squash, or good ol’ American pumpkin.
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup, Spanish onion, minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, stemmed and minced
2 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 tablespoon freshly picked thyme leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups Calabaza, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
In a heavy pot or Dutch oven with a proper lid, melt the butter and sauté the garlic, onion, and scotch bonnets until they are soft and barley caramelized. Add the lime juice and stir it in. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the salt, pepper, allspice, thyme sprigs, and pumpkin. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes minutes, stirring occasionally. The pumpkin should be blanched but still raw in the center.
Turn th heat up to high. Add the coconut milk, cinnamon stick and rice. Stir once and then leave it alone. Let the liquid return to a boil and then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
Remove the cinnamon stick and flake out into a serving bowl with a butcher’s fork.
Serves 6 as a condiment
2 ripe mangoes
1 red onion, diced
2 scotch bonnet peppers, seeded or not and minced
1 tbls fresh thyme
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp salt
Toss and let stand at room temp for one hour before serving
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