Saturday, September 13, 2008

Culinary Creations: Jerk Pork

Jerk chicken or pork is one of my favorite foods. There was a Jamaican BBQ restaurant in Sarasota that had the best Jerk Chicken. Sadly they closed, leaving me on the quest of trying to come up with something nearly as nice as what they served. While I'm not quite there yet, this version isn't bad. I take a "Boston Butt Roast" (i know, not very appetizing) and marinate* it over night. When ready to cook, I put chopped onion, celery, and sometimes carrots in my slow cooker, and heat on low for 30 minutes. While the slow cooker is heating, take out the marinated pork, allowing it to come to room temperature.

~ When ready to cook, place in the slow cooker, fat side up. Score fat and stuff with garlic cloves, thyme, and rosemary.

~ Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow to cook for 6-8 hours. Usually around 6 hours I will check with a fork. If it starts falling apart, it is done.

~ Remove pork to plate, allowing to cool 15-20 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the liquid, leaving the rest in the slow cooker. Using fork and knife, pull pork apart. Return meat to the cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Stir well allowing meat to absorb liquid. At this point, you can do one of two things**: either add some dry jerk seasoning to flavor - or if you have a liquid jerk sauce (maybe even a jerk BBQ sauce), add to taste. Turn slow cooker to "keep warm" allowing flavors to meld.

~ I usually like to serve with rice, either Zatarain's Caribbean Rice or Black Eye Peas and Rice. On this occasion I went with Zatarain's. I used the one cup of the cooking liquid from the pork and cooked the rice per box instructions, adding chopped carrots, celery, and peas.

* Busha Browne's Spicy Jerk Sauce is my favorite jerk marinade. If you find it too vinegary, use the paste. If the paste is too spicy for your liking, mix with Greek yogurt to taste.

** I used a dry jerk seasoning and then served with South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce. My favorite liquid sauce is Levi Root's Reggae Reggae Jerk Sauce, which I believe is only available in the UK and Ireland at this time. It is absolute bliss when I can get my hands on a bottle of the stuff! Another good jerk BBQ sauce is Walkerswood Spicy Jamaican Jerk Barbecue Sauce, which is readily available in the US, well, Florida at least.

For more info on Levi Roots and his sublime sauce, please click the following link:

For more info on Walkerswood's luscious products, please click the following link:

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