Today we’ll induct yet another dish into the series “The Ultimate” (keyword search ‘ultimate’ in the search box – top right of this page for more recipes in the series). This time we’re doing one of those classic Jamaican dishes… Jerk Pork. The first time I made this dish was about 5 years ago when our friends were getting married and they were having the stag / doe and asked for us to bring along a dish. Since then, we’ve only heard good things from the many guests who were there that night. This weekend being Tehya’s birthday and knowing that my mom is a fan of jerk pork, I thought it would be perfect for the bbq we were having.
If you read the piece I did titled Jamaica One Plate At A Time, you’ll know that I went in hunt of the perfect jerk while we were in Jamaica and found (more like stumbled.. stretch our legs and use the bathroom) a spot called “Supreme Jerk Center” on our way to Negril from Montego Bay. The fella doing the jerk had some skills. Not only was the pork perfectly cooked over the open coals, but we could tell that he allowed the meat to marinate for quite some time. As the pork was infused with that authentic jerk flavor and the smoky taste from the pimento wood was divine. Though I don’t have the use of the open coals, I’m positive that my jerk pork could easily rival his.
For this recipe you’ll need to refer to the jerk marinade recipe I shared with you a few months ago or see below for quick instructions. If you don’t feel like making your own marinade, check out the selection of Jamaican Jerk Marinade and BBQ Sauces you can purchase.
5 scallions (green onions)
5 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 scotch bonnet peppers
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
* Basically all you have to do is give everything a rough chop and place in a food processor or blender as I did and pulse until you get a smooth consistency.
1 boneless pork loin (about 7-8lbs)
2 cups of the jerk marinade
Let’s get started. Give the pork loin a good rinse under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Then place the pork in a large dish/pan and using a pairing knife, make some stabs into the meat (about 1 inch deep). This will help in the marinating process. This step will get a bit messy, so using gloves may come in handy. Remember we used scotch bonnet peppers in the marinade so you may find that your bare hands may catch on fire! Pour 1 cup of the jerk marinade over the pork loin, then using your hands, massage and work it well. You can certainly bush the marinade on, but I much prefer to work this with my hands. Now cover and leave to marinate for at least 5 hours in the fridge.
Take the pork out of the fridge about 25 minutes before you start to grill, to allow it to come back to room temperature. I’m using a gas grill to cook this but if you have a wood or coal burning grill, do your thing. Basically you want to bring the temperature of the grill to about 300 degrees and brush the grate with some vegetable oil. All you do is take tongs, grab a piece of paper towel and dip it into a bowl with vegetable oil an brush the grill.
The goal is to slow cook this so you have 2 options. Grill on the top level grill or sort of warming rack (as I did) or grill with indirect heat. The flame would be on one corner of the grill surface and the meat on the other. This way you don’t get direct contact with the meat and flame/heat.
Basically all you’re doing for the next 2.5 to 3 hours is basting every 20 minutes and turning over when you do, so the meat cook evenly. When you removed the pork loin from marinating, do save the left over marinade and add a further cup, to use for basting during the cooking process.
When I purchased my pork loin I looked for a piece with a thin layer of fat. This allows the meat to basically self-baste while cooking… so you don’t get an overly dry finished dish as the loin is usually very lean. Remember to try to maintain the 300 degrees, keep the lid on the grill closed and brush on marinade every 20 minutes or so. You will notice that it will start going dark and have a sort of burned look, but this natural. It’s just all the sugars doing it’s caramelizing thing. Good jerk is supposed to have that sort of colour… but remember – no direct heat or it will become burnt!
Do allow this to rest a bit before slicing, so some of the natural juices are allowed relax the jerked pork loin. We had over 25 people here and I still had enough to pack a doggie bag for my parents when they left. But we did have many others dishes as well. Conservatively, this is enough for about 10-15 people as a main meat side..
IMPORTANT: Be sure to use a gluten free soy sauce to meet with your gluten free dietary needs when doing this jerk pork recipe.
It’s that time again – we’re giving away the following book (see below) to one lucky person for the month of June. All you have to do is leave me a comment in the comments section below (please say something about this recipe) and your name will be automatically entered to win this amazing book on organic gardening and cooking with herbs, vegetables and fruits.
Yea! Not your typical Caribbean book, but a wonderful way to learn about organic gardening and cooking. Focusing on plants that are easy to grow, Adam Caplin takes an illuminating new look at the delights and challenges of cultivating edibles, showing how they can be grown – on their own in beds and containers, in mixed borders, and decoratively with flowers – for their ornamental as well as their nutritional value. Celia Brooks Brown presents 35 mouthwatering vegetarian recipes – for soups and starters, main courses, salads and light dishes, salsas and chutneys, and sweet things. This book features glorious photography by Caroline Hughes and William Shaw.
There are two bonus ways you can have your name entered in the contest, giving you 3 chances at winning. Along with leaving a comment below, go to the Facebook fan page and/or the Youtube cooking channel and leave a comment there. I don’t care what your comment is, but it would be nice if you could tell me what you like about Caribbean food and if the recipes I share are helpful.
Here are the rules pertaining to winning the copy of “New Kitchen Garden”…
– contest is open to everyone globally
– there are 3 ways to enter your name (see above)
– 1 winner will be chosen at random (if you left 3 comments, your name will be entered 3 times)
– contest is open from June 13 – to midnight June 30.
– winner will be announced within 1 week of the official close date.
– the winner will have 1 week to contact us with mailing address
– we will cover all shipping expenses (standard mail)
I hope you take a moment to enter your name as I’d really like to mail this book out to you. It’s simple, free and a great way to experiment with some organic gardening and cooking. Good luck to everyone who enters.
Oye! before you go… Remember you can watch the cooking videos on the recipe channel and we’d love to interact with you on our Facebook fan page. There’s a few thousand of us already causing commesse on there… so do check it out.