I’m lucky to know some amazing chefs. I’m even luckier in that some of them are willing to share some of their recipes with me. I get to eat a whole range of amazing dishes, from traditional British dishes to superb Indian curries and delicious Italian classics. In this post, I’d like to share with you a zingy, hot dish from a Caribbean chef who warns that going greedy with the scotch bonnet peppers would be a decision I (and possibly YOU) will regret.
Actually, this recipe for Jamaican Jerk Pork Shoulder isn’t stupidly hot. If you want food eye-wateringly spicy hot, then by all means double the amount of scotch bonnets or leave those bad-ass seeds in! As with all of my favourite recipes, I like the simplicity – basically get it all together and whizz it in a blender! I recommend leaving the meat to marinade overnight. When you’re ready to cook, remember that this shoulder of pork recipe needs an hour of cooking time, so start early and be patient! Invest in a bottle of rum, coconut milk and pineapple juice and a soundtrack by Toots and the Maytals (optional).
6 pork shoulder steaks
4 spring onions
2 Scotch Bonnet peppers (deseeded if you don’t want it really hot!)
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. dried mixed herbs
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped in to chunks
½ cup of orange juice
¼ cup of soy sauce
¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Handful of fresh thyme
Dash of fresh lemon juice
- Begin by setting the pork shoulder steaks to one side.
- Chop the onion and spring onions into chunks.
- Put all of the ingredients other than the pork into a large jug or bowl and whizz it with a blender until it’s a smooth and consistent mixture. This is the marinade.
- Transfer the marinade to a suitable dish and put the pork shoulder steaks in. Cover the bowl and leave it to marinade overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Once all steaks have been marinated, heat oven to 180°c/350°f/Gas Mark 4
- Place marinated steaks on a wire rack over a tray (to catch drips). Set the remaining marinade aside.
- Cook for 60 minutes, spooning generous amounts of the jerk marinade over the steaks every 20 minutes or so.
- Remove the steaks from the oven and set aside. Microwave the remaining marinade until piping hot throughout. This is now the jerk sauce.
To serve, I recommend having some delicious cornbread (or Festival bread, if you can find it) and making sandwiches to dip into the sauce. Alternatively, go for the full-on cliché and serve with rice and black-eyed peas. And don’t forget to pour yourself an ice-cold piña colada! (That’s what the rum, coconut and pineapple was for!)
Oh, okay. Here’s the recipe for an amazing piña colada too!
100ml unsweetened pineapple juice
100ml Malibu (or other coconut rum)
100ml Archers (or other peach schnapps)
50ml chilled evaporated milk
50ml chilled and shaken coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup of ice
- Put all ingredients in a jug
- Blend until smooth (at least 30 seconds)
To serve, cut a cheeky little pineapple slice to garnish and pour into a Poco Grande glass. For a touch of retro fun, add a couple of tacky paper umbrellas and a loop-the-loop straw.