5/23/20 O&A NYC GRILLING FOR THE WEEKEND: Jerk- Adding Spice To Your Memorial Weekend Grilling

By Rita Rubino


Jerk- Not the antagonist in Terry McMillian real life drama, a movie with Steve Martin or Jerry Lewis, not a 1950’s beatnik dance, but a hot and spicy rub for chicken and pork.

The origins of Jerk date back to the Arawak Indians. The word Jamaica (Xaymaca) also comes from the Arawak Indians, and means land of wood and water. Jamaica with it’s many ports had access to a wide variety of herbs and spices that all made it into the foods of this region. Thought to have been perfected by Maroons (Escaped African slaves) and their knowledge of slow pit cooking as a form of preserving their meat, Jerk seasoning can be as simple as a mix of Allspice, chilies and salt or as complex as 20 or more herbs and spices.

4-6 Seeded Scotch Bonnet Peppers (keep seeds in if you’re bold. You may also use jalapenos)
2tbs ground Allspice (about 20 whole dried berries)
3 Sprigs of fresh Thyme
8 Stalks of Scallion
2 cloves of Garlic
2 tbs dark brown sugar
2 tbs salt
1⁄4 cup of soy sauce
2 tbs oil
2-4 tbs vinegar (just add enough to make a paste)

1. Mix all ingredients in blender or food processor
2. Cover chicken or pork and marinate overnight
3. Roast in 350 degree oven for 1 hour
    Or grill over low flame turning until done about 40 minutes


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