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Homemade Jerk marinade recipe. Get Jamaican at your next backyard bbq.
Nothing beats a good jerk!
It's pretty hard to resist the sweet and spicy aromas of jerked meat grilled over a smoky BBQ. The floral heat and the complex spices make this a classic dish, and the perfect meal for any hot summer backyard BBQ.
This recipe is for a jerk marinade, and although you can easily buy a jerk sauce at the supermarket, this will be a lot better, and you can have this marinade ready in about 3 minutes.
You can adjust the seasonings in this marinade to suit your palate, and if you really like to sweat, get authentic and use scotch bonnet chiles (the hottest chile pepper in the world!). These chiles are inferno spicy, but also contribute a floral and complex taste unique to the scotch bonnet or habanero pepper.
This recipe is for a marinade, and as a result is going to be a little bit salty. You can easily adapt this recipe to serve as a table sauce by holding back on some of the salt.
Try this with chicken breast, whole split chicken, pork chops, or a whole pork shoulder roast cooked slowly over an indirect fire; with lots of great smoky heat. The general rule is the thicker the meat, the longer it will take to marinade. Chicken breast will be marinated in a couple of hours, pork chops will take a bunch of hours, and whole chicken parts or a pork roast should start marinating the day before. That being said, if you don't have the time (or forget) to marinate, just slather on the marinade generously as you grill, and it will still taste great.
The ingredients here are all pretty loose. Don't get stressed about precise measurements. Just chuck approximate amounts into the blender; you can always modify the tastes later.
I know this looks like a big list of ingredients, but you really barely need to measure them, and you are just going to throw them all into a blender.
Spicy homemade jerk marinade/sauce
1 big bunch of green onions or a couple smaller bunches
2 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls vegetable oil
1 Tbls salt
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp dried thyme, or 1 Tbls fresh thyme
1-10 scotch bonnets. Start with a small amount and add more lately if you think it needs it.
1 thumb sized knuckle of ginger (don't worry about peeling it; just blend it up skin and all!)
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 a small onion
2-3 Tbls of brown sugar
Just whack it all into the blender and give it a puree. Don't add more water, if you're having trouble getting it all blended, just keep turning off the blender, stirring it up, and trying again. Eventually it will "take" and start to blend up nicely.
Now taste it. It should taste pretty salty, but not unpleasantly puckeringly salty. If you think it's perfect, and would enjoy it as a table sauce, add a bit more salt. You want this to sort of brine the meat as it marinates. It won't taste too salty when you eat it with the meat, it will taste great!
You can also now throw in more chiles if it's not spicy enough for you. If it tastes too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar until things seem good and balanced.
Authentic jerked meats are not exactly grilled as we think of grilling, they are sort of smoke grilled. To get a more authentic jerk experience, add some wood chips to your BBQ, and cook your meat over slow indirect heat; or just get em going over high heat and enjoy a beautiful jerk chicken breast in 10 minutes!