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markemorse

Jamaican Jerk Pork

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I'm getting ready to make some jerk pork this week, and though I used to cook jerk quite a bit, I haven't made it in several years (no access to a grill), so I thought I'd try a new recipe.

My biggest question so far revolves around soy sauce: most of the "actually Jamaican" recipes I'm seeing call for quite a bit of soy sauce in the marinade (this one, for example), while the Americanized reconstructions tend to omit it (or they seem to use Jay Solomon's recipe). Is soy sauce an authentic ingredient?

Anyway: any foolproof jerk pork recipes out there? And no I can't get my hands on pimiento wood to smoke it over :raz: (at least I don't think I can)....

thanks!

mark


Edited by markemorse (log)

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yes soy sauce is fine but not in that quantity!!! I use maybe a few tbl at most or a few shots of Maggi seasoning.

here is an approximate list of what I put in my Jerk

everything goes in the food processor and I marinate overnight

2/3 cups brown sugar

9 garlic cloves

1 large piece of thyme or a tble of fresh

2-3 inches of fresh ginger

1 sweet onion or a handful of green onions

5 scotch bonnet or habenero peppers

1 tsp or so of cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 tble ground allspice

3 tble soy sauce or a couple of shots of Maggie Seasoning or a couple of tble of worchestershire sauce

2 heaping tble of Grace Jerk Seasoning paste (if you can not find it just leave it out)

salt and fresh cracked pepper


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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All of the bottled marinades from Jamaica I have seen (one or two, to be honest) contain no soy sauce. However, I have seen in it some recipes leading me to believe that it is most likely a more recent addition. I had the pleasure of being invited two years running to a Jamaican BBQ hosted by some of my international students and did not see the couple of grill masters among them use soy. However, soy has become such a global salting agent it may have evolved into a more standard practice. I use a paste both as a marinade and as a condiment. It is based on a recipe from a restaurant on the Outer Banks that I am quite fond of.

Wet Ingredients

5-6 Scotch Bonnets or 2-3 Habenero, roughly chopped (stem removed with core and most seeds)

10 scallions, roughly chopped

juice of one large lemon

4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves only) - or 1 1/2 Tbs. Dried thyme

2 tsp. olive oil

5 oz. Raisins (3/4 cup) - or other dried fruit like apricot

Dry Ingredients

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp ground ginger (1 tsp. if fresh)

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs. whole allspice (heated in skillet and then ground in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or coffee grinder)

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. granulated garlic

2 tsp. dried onion

Blend into course paste.

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All of the bottled marinades from Jamaica I have seen (one or two, to be honest) contain no soy sauce. However, I have seen in it some recipes leading me to believe that it is most likely a more recent addition. I had the pleasure of being invited two years running to a Jamaican BBQ hosted by some of my international students and did not see the couple of grill masters among them use soy. However, soy has become such a global salting agent it may have evolved into a more standard practice. I use a paste both as a marinade and as a condiment. It is based on a recipe from a restaurant on the Outer Banks that I am quite fond of.

Wet Ingredients

5-6 Scotch Bonnets or 2-3 Habenero, roughly chopped (stem removed with core and most seeds)

10 scallions, roughly chopped

juice of one large lemon

4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves only) - or 1 1/2 Tbs. Dried thyme

2 tsp. olive oil

5 oz. Raisins (3/4 cup) - or other dried fruit like apricot

Dry Ingredients

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp ground ginger (1 tsp. if fresh)

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs. whole allspice (heated in skillet and then ground in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or coffee grinder)

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. granulated garlic

2 tsp. dried onion

Blend into course paste.

I've made/eaten a ton of jerk (lots of it in Jamaica, no less), and never seen it made or made it with soy. Worcestershire, yeah, but never soy, as far as I know. This recipe seems pretty close to what I'm accustomed to, and it's close to my personal recipe.

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Mucho thanks to everyone for the recipes!

I hate when this happens: Before I started this topic, I combed the forums meticulously for a previous post on the soy sauce issue (and jerk in general), and I couldn't find jack....until now.

sorry about that...

mem


Edited by markemorse (log)

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There's a healthy population of Chinese immigrants in Jamaica, I think from several generations back. Because of their influence, soy sauce has become a pretty common ingredient in Jamaican cooking. So as far as authenticity goes, well I'd say that soy is plenty authentic. I haven't seen it used in jerk myself but I also know that most jerkers are pretty secretive about their recipes.


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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There's a healthy population of Chinese immigrants in Jamaica, I think from several generations back.  Because of their influence, soy sauce has become a pretty common ingredient in Jamaican cooking.  So as far as authenticity goes, well I'd say that soy is plenty authentic.  I haven't seen it used in jerk myself but I also know that most jerkers are pretty secretive about their recipes.

Thanks, Ned...

I should've been able to figure this out myself considering the research I've been doing on Aruba and Surinam...most of the Chinese populations in these areas date back to the mid-19th century....but I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer.

mem

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there is no "real" recipe for jerk (what I wrote above was actually just the basics of what I toss together) .. you may find thousands if you look...rule of thumb and what was told to me is "you make it one time the way someone tells you then you make it your own" ..that is what good jerk is always about ..

and yes even in Jamaica put soy sauce in the jerk if you have it on hand and it tastes good you use it ....there is soy sauce in some folks Caribbean curry as well ...I have even seen it tossed in potato salad in the islands...it is an all purpose seasoning in many peoples homes..just like Maggi and worchestershire... as mentioned above there is quite a Chinese influence in in cooking...as well as Indian, AfroCaribbean and Anglo....


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Here's the recipe I ended up making for Chufi's latest eG Foodblog:

couple notes: ordinarily this would be cooked on a grill, ideally over some pimiento branches for smoking, but since we cooked inside here's the oven recipe. Also, this amount of pork would normally require 6 to 9 habaneros (some recipes called for 12!)...I only used 3 just to make sure that everyone could eat it (and enjoy it).

jerk-marinated pork shoulder in the oven.

marinade:

3kg boneless pork shoulder, in one piece

6 big scallions, chopped

1 large sweet onion, peeled

1 head of garlic, cloves peeled

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp dried thyme

1/4 cup (60ml) allspice berries, ground

2 tbsp freshly-ground black pepper

2 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled

3 habanero, madame jeanet, or scotch bonnet chiles, fire-roasted, seeds removed

1 cup fresh-squeezed OJ

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

sauce:

1 cup of water

2 tablespoons brown sugar or more

2 tablespoons cider vinegar or more

Blend all marinade ingredients to a paste in a food processor or blender. With a sharp knife, score the thick fat on the pork shoulder in a diamond pattern. You might want to use gloves for this: pour 2/3 of the marinade over the pork and massage a thick coating of the marinade into the pork. Place in a roasting pan and cover with a lid or foil. Refrigerate to marinate at least 24 hours or up to two days.

Place the remaining 1/3 of the marinade in a saucepan and add water, sugar, and vinegar. I boiled this down for about 20 minutes until the raw ingredients weren't raw and the flavor was nice and round. This sauce goes over the pieces of pork when you serve it.

When ready to cook, let pork sit at room temperature at least one hour, then preheat oven to 450F/Gas 8. Roast for 30 minutes at this high heat, then lower temperature to 300F/Gas 2. Bake an additional 2.5 hours. I then uncovered it and blasted it at 450F again to try and crisp up the crust. Take pork out and let rest at least 30 minutes before dismantling. Cut into caveman/cavewoman hunks and slather with reheated jerk sauce. Serves 6-8. I wasn't hungry until lunchtime today. :smile:

ETA: We used this article for tips on what wines to serve with jerk, and it was spot on: a 2005 Alsatian Gewurztraminer from Antoine Heinrich, and a 2005 Riesling from Rudolf Müller...both were very nice.


Edited by markemorse (log)

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I highly recommend the Jamican Jerk Seasoning mix from The Spice HouseI can't vouch for authenticity but it is really fantastic.Actually, I've only used it for chicken, but I'm that the results are the same for any meat you choose.

Here's the recipe I ended up making for Chufi's latest eG Foodblog:couple notes: ordinarily this would be cooked on a grill, ideally over some pimiento branches for smoking, but since we cooked inside here's the oven recipe. Also, this amount of pork would normally require 6 to 9 habaneros (some recipes called for 12!)...I only used 3 just to make sure that everyone could eat it (and enjoy it). jerk-marinated pork shouldermarinade:3kg boneless pork shoulder, in one piece6 big scallions, chopped1 large sweet onion, peeled1 head of garlic, peeled2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves1 tbsp dried thyme1/4 cup (60ml) allspice berries, ground2 tbsp freshly-ground black pepper2 tsp cinnamon, ground1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled3 habanero, madame jeanet, or scotch bonnet chiles, fire-roasted, seeds removed1 cup fresh-squeezed OJ 1/2 cup brown sugar1/4 cup soy saucejuice of 1 limesauce:1 cup of water2 tablespoons brown sugar or more2 tablespoons cider vinegar or moreBlend all marinade ingredients to a paste in a food processor or blender. With a sharp knife, score the thick fat on the pork shoulder in a diamond pattern. You might want to use gloves for this: pour 2/3 of the marinade over the pork and massage a thick coating of the marinade into the pork. Place in a roasting pan and cover with a lid or foil. Refrigerate to marinate at least 24 hours or up to two days. Place the remaining 1/3 of the marinade in a saucepan and add water, sugar, and vinegar. I boiled this down for about 20 minutes until the raw ingredients weren't raw and the flavor was nice and round. This sauce goes over the pieces of pork when you serve it.When ready to cook, let pork sit at room temperature at least one hour, then preheat oven to 450F/Gas 8. Roast for 30 minutes at this high heat, then lower temperature to 300F/Gas 2. Bake an additional 2.5 hours. I then uncovered it and blasted it at 450F again to try and crisp up the crust. Take pork out and let rest at least 30 minutes before dismantling. Cut into caveman/cavewoman hunks and slather with reheated jerk sauce. Serves 6-8. I wasn't hungry until lunchtime today.  :smile: ETA: We used this article for tips on what wines to serve with jerk, and it was spot on: a 2005 Alsatian Gewurztraminer from Antoine Heinrich, and a 2005 Riesling from Rudolf Müller...both were very nice.


Edited by mhjoseph (log)

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Iuse Walkers jerk sauce. Like most forms of BBQ I think there is a lot of room for interpertation. The argument could also be made that true jerk would not have soy sauce.


Living hard will take its toll...

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Here's the recipe I ended up making for Chufi's latest eG Foodblog:

couple notes: ordinarily this would be cooked on a grill, ideally over some pimiento branches for smoking, but since we cooked inside here's the oven recipe. Also, this amount of pork would normally require 6 to 9 habaneros (some recipes called for 12!)...I only used 3 just to make sure that everyone could eat it (and enjoy it).

jerk-marinated pork shoulder

marinade:

3kg boneless pork shoulder, in one piece

6 big scallions, chopped

1 large sweet onion, peeled

1 head of garlic, peeled

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp dried thyme

1/4 cup (60ml) allspice berries, ground

2 tbsp freshly-ground black pepper

2 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled

3 habanero, madame jeanet, or scotch bonnet chiles, fire-roasted, seeds removed

1 cup fresh-squeezed OJ

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

sauce:

1 cup of water

2 tablespoons brown sugar or more

2 tablespoons cider vinegar or more

Blend all marinade ingredients to a paste in a food processor or blender. With a sharp knife, score the thick fat on the pork shoulder in a diamond pattern. You might want to use gloves for this: pour 2/3 of the marinade over the pork and massage a thick coating of the marinade into the pork. Place in a roasting pan and cover with a lid or foil. Refrigerate to marinate at least 24 hours or up to two days.

Place the remaining 1/3 of the marinade in a saucepan and add water, sugar, and vinegar. I boiled this down for about 20 minutes until the raw ingredients weren't raw and the flavor was nice and round. This sauce goes over the pieces of pork when you serve it.

When ready to cook, let pork sit at room temperature at least one hour, then preheat oven to 450F/Gas 8. Roast for 30 minutes at this high heat, then lower temperature to 300F/Gas 2. Bake an additional 2.5 hours. I then uncovered it and blasted it at 450F again to try and crisp up the crust. Take pork out and let rest at least 30 minutes before dismantling. Cut into caveman/cavewoman hunks and slather with reheated jerk sauce. Serves 6-8. I wasn't hungry until lunchtime today.  :smile:

ETA: We used this article for tips on what wines to serve with jerk, and it was spot on: a 2005 Alsatian Gewurztraminer from Antoine Heinrich, and a 2005 Riesling from Rudolf Müller...both were very nice.

Your recipe looks really interesting and good. I missed any comment about how it tasted to you.

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btw, true jerk meat is cooked for a few hours over coals and pimento sticks

ie just like a bbq smoker but with pimento smokewood

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ordinarily this would be cooked on a grill, ideally over some pimiento branches for smoking, but since we cooked inside here's the oven recipe.

Right on...hence my opening note quoted above. :wink:

Tasting notes: tastes like very good jerk that unfortunately had to be cooked in an oven due to inclement weather. I can't really compare it to other real jerk I've had, because this pork, while nicely spiced and not too citrus-y but with that slow scotch bonnet burn in there...this just isn't at all the same as jerk on a grill. It was perfectly acceptable, even great for what it was, but I think I won't really know what this tastes like until I put it over some coals and hopefully some pimiento branches.

mem


Edited by markemorse (log)

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I made a few attempts at jerk chicken in the fall. I used various recipes gleaned off the internet and had some batches turn out better than other but none were just right. In the annual Secret Santa exchange I recieved "The Real Jerk" by Lily & Ed Pottinger which contains their version of the marinade. I thought there was far too many hot peppers ( I had to go to several stores just to get enough of them ) but the end result after cooking was tasty and not nearly as hot as I feared.

1lb Scotch Bonnets (Not a misprint that really says one pound )

1 small onion, chopped

3 stalks escallion, chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme

3 tbsp salt

2 tbsp black pepper

2 tbsp whole allspice berries

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp nutmeg, frshly grated

1/2 c white vinegar

1/4 c soy sauce

Puree all in blender until sauce is coarse but pourable. Use a tablespoon or two of marinate per pound of meat.

I spread it out on a cookie sheet, freeze it then break off a slab whenever I need some. Yum Yum.

( This is my first post, 'Howdy' to everyone and I look forward to being a member of the society! )

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I found a big pork shoulder at the store today, and I've decided to jerk it for my Dad's 70th birthday bash this weekend. I'm a little apprehensive, as one of my uncles who will be there ran a barbecue catering company for several years. Not that he did jerk, so far as I know, but I always seem to attack something new in front of a large audience. It's more of a challenge not to screw up big-time.

I've made several jerk sauces/pastes/rubs before, but I've never done it the same way twice, and now reading here that soy sauce is an optional ingredient, who knows what I'll come up with. I just know when I get it right by that smell - that mysterious spicy wonderful smell that lingers on my fingertips and in my nose for days afterwards. It may not be "authentic", given that I have no source for pimento wood, but no one else will know the difference.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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