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A while ago, on a shopping trip, we picked up a big bottle of a spice called Cool Running. I assumed (and we all know what that gets you) that it was a mild jerk seasoning. I was incorrect – it’s more of a seasoning salt, which is very definitely not what I was looking for. I had decided last night that I would jerk season a pork roast for dinner….oh, no!
What to do? A long, long, long time ago, I made a jerk seasoning, and I remember it being spicy, but it’s been so long I have no idea what was in it or where I found it, so today was a fresh start.
I ended up on Youtube, watching a video by Chef Ricardo – he used a LOT of Scotch Bonnet peppers. I didn’t have any – I really must stock up on some different peppers and freeze them as well as dehydrate some – so I used some red chili peppers I have had in the freezer for a while.
Actually, I made the base of the marinade, then I split it into three. In one I blended red chili peppers, in the second I blended red pepper flakes and in the third, I blended chili flakes. I wanted to figure out which one I like the flavour of better. Of the three, I preferred the red pepper flakes, but they were all pretty similar.
I warn you now, there are quite a few ingredients, but it makes quite a bit of marinade….3/4 of a large mason jar – about 3-1/2 cups worth. None of the ingredients are particularly difficult to find, except perhaps the browning sauce, which is Jamaican. I found it in the ethnic section of our Co-Op grocery store, so it is available fairly readily, I hope.
Ingredients: (I measured straight into my blender)
- 4 TB oil (I used olive oil but the original used vegetable)
- 6 TB white vinegar
- 2 TB brown sugar
- 15 cloves garlic (I just used an entire bulb)
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 3 medium white onions (I used 1-1/2 large onions)
- 12 green onions (the better part of two bunches)
- 1 TB allspice (I used allspice buds) – the original recipe called for pimento seed
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 lime worth of lime juice
- 2 TB browning
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- red chili peppers (I used 7), red pepper flakes (I used 2 TB), chili flakes (I used 2 TB) or scotch bonnet peppers (of which I had none, but the original called for what looked like 8) Do this to your heat preference. With all that I used, the marinade had a little kick, but the roast did not. Vinegar eases the heat of peppers quite a bit, so bear that in mind.
Once everything is in your blender, blend. You won’t get this entirely smooth and that’s okay.
Store in a jar in your fridge – I assume, because of the vinegar, that this will stay good for a few weeks. You should also be able to freeze it, but I haven’t done so…yet. I used about ¾ to 1 cup of it for my roast dinner tonight so you could certainly cut this recipe down to 1/3 and have enough for a meals’ worth with no leftovers.
Because this is a sauce, it is completely customizable. Don’t like cilantro, use parsely. Don’t eat sugar, use a sugar free substitute – it helps smooth the heat and balance the flavours, so don’t leave it out entirely. Don’t like heat, leave out the peppers. Can’t find the browning sauce, skip it or put in a teaspoon of molasses. The original recipe called for a bunch of thyme, but I didn’t have any so I left it out. No lime, use lemon. Don’t like onion – that’s a tough one, since it’s quite a bit of the bulk – skip it and drop the amounts of everything else to keep the sauce cohesive.
This is low carb and with a sweetener like the Swerve that’s brown sugar, it could be keto, as well. It’s definitely vegetarian, also!
Play with it, make it your own.