Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Jerk Pork

This jerk pork was killer. It was promised in our post of September 10, and bears meek resemblance to the version referenced therein that Caribbean American Gourmet on West Lexington Street was dishing out from behind bulletproof glass. Thirty years have passed since I've tasted jerk pork as good as this. That was in the hills of Jamaica where scores of locals were gathered around a pimiento wood fire burning from a hole in the ground over which huge chunks of pork were grilling away. For this dish the Kingsford in our back yard would have to suffice, and it worked.

I'm convinced that considerable disillusion abounds about jerk pork and suspect some of it could have originated in Jamaica where numerous Rastafarian ideologies passionately condemn the consumption of any kind of red meat, particularly pork. In the United States, the disillusionment relates more to the misconception that that pork loin works as well as shoulder. Presumably that's because loin is leaner and healthier. Perhaps that's why jerk chicken and jerk fish have pretty much become mainstream United States staples, while jerk pork has not. Jerk is all about seasoning, and when the right mix of ingredients is blended, the flavor is hard not to like. My contention is that that pork butt is the best cut to bring up that flavor.

I've prepared numerous jerk recipes over the years, and this one from RecipeZaar easily surpasses them all. OK, the lemon wedge and scallion garnish were my own decorative touches, and yes I did substitute a couple of Thai peppers for the Scotch Bonnets just because we had some growing in the back yard, but so what? Here's a link to the recipe at RecipeZaar.