get ready for bbq season, she says optimistically: a tasty and aromatic jerk paste

jerk paste
I once had a boyfriend whose Jamaican grandmother opened one of the first West Indian restaurants in London. He and I had met because he had overheard me bragging to friends about how good my jerk chicken was.

Who the hell did I think I was? This was fighting talk indeed and I conceded that I may have been exaggerating a little bit. But I guess it intrigued him enough to pursue the acquaintance. Fortunately, while my jerk chicken may not have been as good as his Nan’s, it definitely won a place in his heart! 

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

1 tbsp allspice berries
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
5 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 2 tsp dried thyme)
5 x spring onions, roughly chopped
3 - 4 x large garlic cloves, chopped
3 x scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped (or 2 tsp ground ginger)
juice of 1 or 2 x limes

  1. Either combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend to a paste.
  2. Or place the dry ingredients in a spice or coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. Combine in a pestle and mortar with the rest of the ingredients and pound to a paste.
  3. Use immediately to marinade meat, such as chicken thighs or pork.

  • The scotch bonnet chillies are crucial to the flavour as is using brown sugar.
  • If you wish to use this later, leave out the garlic and ginger store in a tightly covered container; add garlic and ginger immediately before using.


Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Lovely indeed but... um... BBQ season...!?!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Dom, I know, I know! I'm just trying to be prepared . . . you know, just in case there's a run on allspice berries or something! Got my sou'wester and a big brolly though!