From Jamaica

after many requests, a great recipe from Oreste’s pantry, tested and pirate-approved at the last parley! Crew, sharpen your knives! Blow on the embers! Look for the best spices in the best exotic markets, and prepare to enjoy… the Jerk!

1 kg of lean pork, ideally cut in large slices
3 antillian peppers
3 pieces of garlic
1 spoonful of thyme
1 spoonful of cinnamon
1/2 spoonful of nutmeg
2 spoonfuls of jamaican pepper
1/4 spoonful of crushed cloves
15 cl of malt or apple vinegar
the juice of a lemon or lime
1 spoonful of rum (or scassadiavoli if you’re lucky enough)
1 spoonful of black salt
1 spoonful of raw sugar

Crush all ingredients in a mortar, until you get a mushy brown sauce as soft as fresh tobacco: add the lime juice, vinegar and rum, and shake well. Marinate in it the pork for at least three hours (i keep it there for a whole day, and it’s great) then roast  it on a grill. Serve hot, skewered on a knife, with basmati rice and lemony banana mush.


A little history…

the runaway negroes, having taken refuge on the mountains, had to learn to know nature and live together with the arawak tribes. Like buccaneers, they lived i n the woods, survived on berries and roots, and hunted for wild pigs. Also like the buccaneers, they invented their own way to smoke it and preserve it. Having discovered, by chance, that a certain sort of wood produced salt (the aforementioned black salt) they mixed it with grains of black and red pepper : meat, treated with this mixture, and then smoked, could carry indefinitely (we tried this, it’s true, to a point)

With the passage of time, the technique of making jerk spread to the whole island, and the mixture of spices used became more complex: ginger, thyme, garlic, onions and shallots were mixed with salt and the various kinds of pepper.

It’ tastes great, gives energy and substance, and keeps well on long journeys.