The term jerk refers to the seasoning, the style of cooking, and the finished dish. Jerk pork and jerk chicken have become staples not only in Jamaica but throughout North America. When jerking meat, it's customary to make tiny holes in the meat with the tip of a knife and rub a little jerk seasoning in each hole. Warning: Scotch bonnet chillies are extremely fiery. Do not breathe in the fumes when you uncover the blender. Twelve Scotch bonnet chillies will give you the heat of an authentic jerk marinade.
- 2 to 12 Scotch bonnet chillies (or 4 teaspoons of Inferno Sauce),
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed to remove the roots and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat?leaf parsley
- 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or dried)
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- juice of 3 limes
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 table spoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water (approx)
- Combine the chillies, onion, shallots, chives, parsley, ginger, and garlic in a food processor or belnder and puree to a coarse paste.
- Add the salt, thyme, allspice, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, lime juice, soy sauce, vegetable oil, and brown sugar.
- Correct the seasoning, adding soy sauce or salt to taste as needed.
- The mixture should be very pungent and flavourful.
- Add water as needed to obtain a thick but pourable paste.
Makes enough for 2 pounds meat, chicken, or seafood.
Store in a glass jar with a non-reactive lid. (Or cover the jar with plastic wrap, then screw on the lid. This prevents the jerk seasoning from corroding a metal lid.) Refrigerated, jerk Seasoning will keep for several weeks or even months. Of course, the sooner you use it, the better it will taste.