Thursday, June 03, 2004
The jerk sauce turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. Hot, tangy, spicy, and sweet - just as it should be. I was surprised, although I shouldn't have been given my choice of ingredients, at how it is more actual sauce than a rub - which is what I am more accustomed to with jerks. That little discovery led to something of a mess with the food processor, but nothing that couldn't be dealt with on the fly (as you will see).
The picture above shows the small number of ingredients: a cup of soy sauce, a cup of lime juice- I used half key lime and half "regular", a teaspoon of both nutmeg and cinnamon, 12 cloves of peeled garlic, six jalapeño peppers (seeded and stemmed), a hunk of ginger (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces - maybe an ounce or two), a cup of molasses, a cup of cider vinegar, and a mess of scallions - I used about 12 - trimmed of roots, but using all the white and green parts.
Place all of your non-liquid ingredients into a food processor and blend until it's a moist mass - maybe six pulses. Place into a large sauce pan and add all of the liquid ingredients. (Here was where I made my big mistake - I also put the soy sauce and lime juice into the food processor. It was just too much liquid for the processor to contain and I had a few leaks that were easy enough cleaned up but caused some distress every time I pulsed and, as a result, I maybe didn't grind it all up enough.)
Bring everything to a boil and keep at a medium rolling boil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Then remove from heat and pack hot into hot, sterilized half pint jars. Wipe the rims with a hot cloth, seal with hot sterilized two part lids and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. When the processing is complete, remove from the water and allow to cool on a cooling rack or tea towel for a day or so. Check for seals (hopefully, you'll have heard the telltale "pings" of a job well done) before storing. Any jars that didn't seal may be opened, emptied, resterilized and refilled with hot sauce before resealing and processing.
That's it. As usual, the longest part of the whole enterprise is waiting for the water bath to boil. If you're more clever than I (not a far jump, I promise you) you'll have started the water boiling well before you started gathering your ingredients.
Now you have about about 3 pints of jerk sauce ready for marinating, rubbing, brushing and generally flavoring all kinds of meats, poultries and fish. Since I've got a roaster thawing in the fridge I think my first order will be to use my bit of leftover (i.e., not enough to process) sauce as a basting liquid for tomorrow night's dinner.