Jerk is a unique Caribbean style of baking, grilling and barbecuing meats that originated in Jamaica. Pork, Beef, Turkey, Lamb and Fish and other meats are rubbed with a spicy hot rub or wet marinate, made with a Jamaican jerk spice mix, and then typically roasted over and open fire. Jerk chicken is also very popular.
Jerk rub and marinade spices typically include Jamaican allspice, Scotch bonnet, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Various chillies can also be added. 'Allspice' is the dried berry of the West Indian allspice tree. It’s also called Jamaican pepper or pimento. Jamaican allspice can be found in many spice stores. The taste of ground allspice resembles a combination of pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
The term 'jerk' is said to come from the Spanish word 'charqui' which refers to dried meat. The term 'jerk' may also derive from the action of 'jerking', or poking holes in a piece of meat prior to rubbing or marinating so that flavor can more easily penetrate.
Mix all the ingredients and grind in a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
For the Jerk Marinade
Make the jerk marinade by blending all the ingredients in a food processor or blender to form coarse paste forms. Stop while it is still chunky rather than smooth. Place the scored pork rectangles in a non-reactive baking dish. Add the marinade mix to coat all sides of the pork with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or overnight, turning several times. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Place the pork, skin-side up in a baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 3 hours. Then, remove the foil and raise the oven temperature to 250 degrees C (450 degrees F). Bake for an additional 25-35 minutes or until the pork is tender and the skin has started to caramelize and become crisp.
For the Marinade
Place the rum and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Boil for 3 minutes, until partially reduced. Pour the rum mixture into a blender or food processor. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and blend until almost smooth. Arrange the chicken halves in a large roasting pan or deep non-reactive baking dish. Pour the lime juice all over the chicken, tossing to coat all surfaces. Spoon jerk seasoning over chicken and rub in using your hands (wear gloves). Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 350°F (175 degrees C). Or preheat your barbecue or grill over moderate heat. Remove the marinated chicken from the jerk marinade, wiping off any excess. Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. For roasting, arrange the chicken pieces skin side up, in a roasting pan and roast until chicken is cooked through (generally about 45-60 minutes). For grilling or barbecuing, place the chicken pieces, skin side down, on a grilling rack. Grill until chicken is cooked through, turning once or twice (generally about 45-50 minutes).
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Combine ginger, chiles, garlic, sauce, juice, nutmeg cloves, cinnamon, thyme, 2 1/2 tablespoons salt, 1/4 cup pepper, scallions, sugar and 1/4 cup of oil in a bowl and mix well. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth and well blended. Melt the butter and combine with remaining oil. Set aside in a small jug. Wash, rinse and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Season the turkey with salt and pepper, inside and out. Bind the wings and legs of the turkey with string and place on rack inside a deep baking dish. Brush the turkey with the melted butter and oil mixture. Pour 2-3 cups of cold water into pan. Roast the turkey for 30-45 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and roast about 2 hours until it is almost cooked through. Remove turkey from oven and cover with the jerk spice mixture. Place back in oven cook until the internal temperature inside the breast of the turkey reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Transfer the roast turkey to a cutting board. Let rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve with freshly cut lime wedges.
Wash the fish, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the juice of 1/2 lime or lemon all over the fish and pat dry. Cut several slits into the thickest part of the fish, along both sides with a thick knife. (both sides) of each fish. Stuff the inside of the fish with thyme and scallions and sprinkle all over with salt and black pepper. Add the orange juice to the jerk spice in a small bowl to form a paste. Brush both sides of each fish with the jerk spice paste., rubbing into the slits cut into the sides. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spay a baking tray with spray oil and line with parchment paper. Drizzle oil over both sides of the fish to stop it sticking to the paper. Bake the fish for about 10-15 minutes for each side. The fish can also be grilled and barbecued.
Preheat your grill, barbecue, or broiler using a medium-high setting. Using a wide shallow dish, combine the vinegar with the sugar, allspice, thyme, hot sauce, salt, cloves, basil and pepper. Add flank steak and rub the spice mix all over, turning the steak to coat all sides. Set the steak aside for 2-3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator to marinate. Grill, barbecue, bake or broil the flank steak until dark on the outside, but medium-rare on the inside. Let the steak stand for 10 minutes and then slice crosswise and serve immediately.
Wash the lamb under cold water and tap dry with paper towels. Rub the lemon or lime slices over the meat, squeezing the juice over the meat as well. Pat the meat dry, once again and set aside. Make the marinade by combining the jerk seasoning with the olive oil, a little lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper. Rub the marinade mixture all over the lamb, covering all surfaces. Set the lamb aside to marinate in the refrigerator for 3-5 hours, or overnight. Heat a heavy pan over high heat. When hot, fry the outer surfaces for 20-25 minutes to seal in the juices. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Remove the meat from the marinade. Wipe off any excess marinade and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Roast in the oven for 35-50 minutes, or until the lamb is just cooked through. Let the lamb rest for 10-15 minutes and then slice and serve.