Monday, 14 May 2012

Recipe - Jerk Marinade

I had to send myself to finals prison. That's like debtors' prison in that it's a bit nicer than actual prison/Australia but still isn't very nice. I have only myself to blame. In the car driving back, I was filled with a stillness not unlike what I imagine the aunt felt in the last book in the Noughts and Crosses trilogy. Don't bother reading it. The first book was excellent but each sequel got slightly worse. Anyway, as Stompy pointed out, that made the dinner I cooked on Friday evening something of a last supper. I'm so melodramatic. It wasn't really at all. It came to be because I cooked some jerk salmon with rice and peas a few days before for friends who've been taking exams more seriously than me resulting in me feeling a little out of touch them. Then I had jerk marinade left over so decided to jerk some pork because cooking is one of the few ways I know to show I care. (Others include throwing money at the problem and putting my coat awkwardly around the shoulders of an upset person.) Then it occurred to me that this might be a dish that the Scott 'picky eater' Mcbeanie (in joke which I'm not even in on) would enjoy. But pork belly for three is a little silly since it's only marginally more effort to do pork belly for six. Then the morning after my drunken 'hey let me cook for you' offers I saw some more people on a lawn and asked them too. So that's how I came to be struggling to turn a piece of meat almost too heavy for me to carry in a too small pan. This story was dull.

Jerk Marinade 
1 tbsp ground all spice
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
1 inch galangal (maverick but it worked)
1 inch ginger
6 cloves garlic
2 limes, juice only
Large handful fresh coriander
1 tsp pepper
4 scotch bonnet chillies
100ml olive oil

Blend the ingredients together using a food processor.

Jerk salmon
Half quantity marinade
4 salmon fillets, skinless

Cover the skinless salmon pieces (season with salt first) in half a quantity of jerk marinade and grill on a high heat until the salmon is opaque and cooked through and the jerk is crispy and starting to blacken.
I served this with rice and peas (see below) and roasted baby sweetcorn and yellow pepper.

Jerk pork belly
2kg pork belly
2 tsp salt
Half quantity jerk marinade with 1tbsp dark brown sugar
4 shallots, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
A pint of chicken stock

Rub the pork belly with salt and the marinade.
Heat a little olive oil on a high heat and brown the belly all over.
Lower the heat and add the shallots, garlic and vinegar, stirring and scraping the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.
When very soft and starting to colour, add the stock, bay and thyme.
Return the pork belly to the pan.
Place in an oven, covered, at 180 for 3 hours.
After that time, increase the heat to 220 and let the pork crisp, uncovered.
If after that time the sauce hadn't reduced to your liking, remove the irk and cover with foil to keep warm and reduce the sauce on a high heat on the stove.
I served this with buttery sweet potato mash and peas. It was pretty good but I think next time, I'd make it with double the quantity of marinade (or with a significantly smaller joint).

Rice and peas (for four and a bit)
2 shallots, chopped
250g long rain rice
1 can kidney beans
1 can coconut milk
1 can water
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped.
Zest of a lime

Fry shallot.
Add rice, coconut milk, thyme, bay, undrained kidney beans and water. Cook, covered, until rice cooked. Season with salt and pepper and stir in fresh coriander and a little lime zest.

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