Jamaican Jerk Sauce has to be the best food of the Caribbean islands. It is readily available at restaurants and roadside stands, used on a variety of meats, vegetables, and seafood. If you haven’t tried it, think of a Buffalo wing sauce with triple the flavor. Dark and rich, this sauce really packs a punch.
Thyme, allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, and garlic are key ingredients in Jamaican jerk recipes. It is supposed to be quite spicy, so do not skimp on the peppers. Use this authentic spicy jerk rub on chicken, pork, fish, or vegetables. If you have any leftover sauce, refrigerate it. It will keep a very long time. Be sure to wear gloves when cleaning the peppers and applying the marinade. The peppers will mellow a bit with heat.
Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe
1/2 cup ground allspice berries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 to 8 garlic cloves
4 to 6 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and cored (wear gloves!)
1 Tablespoon ground thyme or 2 Tablespoons thyme leaves
2 bunches scallions (green onions)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons soy sauce to moisten
Place allspice, brown sugar, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and soy sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.
You may use whole allspice berries, if available, but use enough to give the equivalent of 1/2 cup ground. (Allspice berries and scotch bonnets are key ingredients.) Keep this sauce refrigerated and it will virtually keep forever. Feel free to increase the hot peppers and garlic.
Rub the meat (chicken, pork or beef) with the seasoning. If using a pork shoulder, score the fat and rub in. With chicken, be sure to rub under skin and in cavities. The jerk sauce may also be used with fish, but use a firm-fleshed fish like grouper.
Marinate overnight. Grill over a low fire until done. Charcoal is best, but not essential. Meat will be smoked "pinkish" when done, and the skin will be nice and dark. Chop meat into pieces, and serve traditionally with hard-dough bread and Jamaican Red Stripe Beer.
Yield: About 1-1/2 cups
Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe Photo ©2021 Peggy Filippone