OK, lets get it out of the way – insert your standard “jerk sauce” joke here… Feel better now? OK, lets make some sauce!
- 3 cups coarsely chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- Juice of 1 large lime
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or 1 tablespoon Kosher salt)
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 to 4 chopped habanero peppers*
Put all of the above ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend them until they make a smooth paste.
This marinade is great for pork and chicken. Put the meat in a freezer bag, cover with the marinade, and marinate overnight in the fridge.
I like it best with about 3 lbs of pork shoulder country ribs, and smoked with a medium-small amount of apple wood. But grilling the meat also turns out excellent, especially for chicken.
Most jerk sauce recipes that you will come across use soy sauce as the base (what an authentic Jamaican ingredient!). They taste OK, but they are salty and strong, so you don’t marinate the meat for more than a few hours. However, this recipe is completely vegetable-based, and much milder, so you should plan on marinating the meat for at least 24 hours before cooking.
*I use 2 peppers, without seeds, and it’s nicely hot, but absolutely great. Adjust the amount according to your taste. Cleaning out seeds & ribs will make them much less hot, too. You’ve probably heard this before, but be careful handling habaneros. Wash your hands immediately with soap, don’t touch your eyes after chopping them, and for God’s sake wash your hands BEFORE you go to the bathroom. Ask me how I know this…