It’s no secret that we love Jerk, not only for its delicious taste but also for its deep-rooted history in Jamaican culture. In celebration of National Jerk Day we’re taking a closer look at how the tender, smoky and spicy flavours are made.
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica, where meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called jerk spice. The typical cooking style uses a marinade or paste that includes at least pimento, which is often called allspice, and scotch bonnet peppers. Techniques used for jerking originated during the seventeenth century. The original jerk meat was wild boar, which was brought to the island by the Maroon slaves from West Africa. They dug a hole in the ground, placed the meat inside the hole and topped it off with the pimento and other spices. They would then light the fire and cover the hole with mud so that the smoke from the jerk pit would not give away their location. The cooking methods enhance the spices throughout the meat and create a smoky crispy exterior to the dish.
"Here are Cottons jerk is a way of life, all our meats are smoked on our traditional jerk pans for that authentic smoky flavour" Jones Quaynor, Head Chef. We use a variety of spices with dry and wet rub marinade on our meats for a period of 24 hours, before roasting slowly for a delicate smoky flavor. For our spicier meats we add the red bell scotch bonnet, classed as one of the strongest peppers in the world! Our famous jerk sauce is slow cooked for a period of 8 hours, giving you that strong flavor that bursts in your mouth.
Here’s a little taste of what you can expect from our jerk pit at Cottons… Jerk Salmon with sweet potato puree, callaloo & green beans Provençal, garlic & coconut sauce; Mixed Jerk Grill Platter of jerk pork rib, chicken piece & wing, lamb chop with rice & peas, jerk sauce and plantain; Jerk Half Chicken slow roasted with pimiento & spices, stir fried vegetables, jerk sauce, rice & peas or Boston Bay Jerk Pork with peri peri yam wedges, sautéed mixed vegetables, rice & peas and jerk sauce.