Jerk is a style of seasoning that is spicy and sweet. Jerk style cooking is 100% Jamaican. It is a style of cooking that is believed to have originated from the Maroons, who were the slaves from Africa, and was then blended with the native Taino Indians cooking styles. Jerk style seasoning can either be a liquid marinade or it can be a dry rub. It is used for all kinds of meats and vegetables, though traditionally in the Caribbean, it is usually used for either chicken or goat. It is normally VERY HOT and is made with habanero peppers or scotch bonnet peppers. The peppers are mixed with allspice, or pimento as it is known in the Caribbean. These are the two primary ingredients found in all jerk sauces or rubs. You can vary the heat by using different kinds of peppers. I usually use jalapenos, which are not nearly as hot as habaneros, but still have quite a bit of kick. It is believed the word jerk comes from the Spanish word charqui, which means dried strips of meats, similar to modern-day jerky. This type of cooking has become very popular and can be found in most places where people like their foods spicy and exotic.
I served my Jamaican jerk steak with my leftover scalloped potatoes and some sauteed vegetables, with a smooth, fruity bold red blend (We made and bottled this wine from InVINtions, A Creative Winery. It is one of our own labels too).
Jamaican Jerk Steak
2-3 lb beef – I used chuck steak
4 hatch roasted peppers, seeded and skinned, or jalapenos or if you like it really spicy, habaneros
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 TBSP green onions, chopped fine
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and bled until you have a thick paste, or about 30 seconds.
Once the paste has been made, generously cover the meat on both sides and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours before cooking. Then remove it from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Depending on the type of meat you use, grilling it is probably the best way to cook it. This was a very thick cut of meat so it took about 7-10 minutes per side to make it a nice, pink medium rare on the inside.
If you have any leftover sauce, use it to top your meat right before serving.
This steak is deliciously Caribbean, with just enough spice and sweetness.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.