Caribbean Slow Roasted Jerk Pork
A real party centrepiece and an ideal dish for a celebration! A Caribbean breath of allspice and nutmeg rises from the roasting tin along with the hot tingle of chilli. Guests serve themselves to the tender spicy meat, enjoying the rich aroma. Spoon the meat over freshly cooked rice, add a scoop of black beans, a dollop of charred pineapple salsa and a dab of creamed avocado and you have a meal to please all the crowd. You can make the pork up to two days ahead, warm it up in the oven when you need it. It’s very tolerant of standing for an hour if covered, so there’s no last-minute dash or standing over a hot stove while your guests drink all the Mojitos.
This recipe is another one from my Christmas in the Caribbean menu which will be on the website in a couple of weeks as a fully worked out party menu suggestion, from cocktails to Cake de Ron.
Serves 10 Timings: Overnight marinade, then 4-5 hours cooking
Put all the marinade ingredients in bowl and blend to a paste. Cover the pork with the paste, massaging into the flesh, and in the gaps of the rind. You might want to wear cooking gloves to do this or be sure to wash your hands extremely well afterwards as you’ll regret touching your eyes with hands that have been peeling Scotch bonnets.
Place the pork in a dish (you can cut it in two if it makes it easier) and leave overnight in the fridge, turning occasionally. But you don't have to get up in the night to turn it, just do it before you go to bed.
Pre heat the oven to 165°C. Place the pork in a roasting tray, skin upwards, and cover with kitchen foil. Roast for 90 minutes, then turn up the heat to 180°C. Roast for another 2 hours. Every now and then pour off the cooking juices into a jug - there will be quite a lot and it will separate into the fatty part and the meat juices which carry a lot of flavour.
Take the cover off the meat and roast for another hour to let the skin start to cook down into the meat.
Take the roasting tray out of the oven, drain away the juices and carefully separate the skin away from the pork. Remove the skin and discard. (You can separately sizzle up the crackling later by frying in deep fat if you like.) Pull the bones and any cartilage parts out of the soft and tender meat and tear the meat into shreds with two forks. Place back in the oven while you make the sauce.
Separate the meat juices from the fat. Pour the juices into a pan and boil down until reduced by at least half – taste as you go along and experience how the flavour deepens. Add the chilli sauce and sweet chilli sauce and the balsamic vinegar. Continue to simmer for a few minutes. When you have a glossy sharp-smelling sauce, pour it over the meat in the roasting tin and mix well. Roast for a further 30 minutes, turning every now and then so the sauce is absorbed and the meat is starting to char at the edges of the tin. You can add a shake of Tabasco and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving if you think it needs extra spice.
The meat in its sauce keeps warm in the oven if covered, so you can leave it now until your guests arrive and get on with the other things, or make it a day or so ahead and warm up as needed.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.