Friday, September 18, 2009

Jerk BBQ

My inspiration for this recipe came from the Pain is Good brand of hot sauces; they've got an excellent Caribbean-style sauce that I decided would be even better if it would caramelize and glaze well. Ok, you've already seen the peppers (38 habaneros and three serranos, because the scotch bonnets aren't ripe yet, or it would be half and half of the two habaneros varieties):
So, the peppers are roasted (this step is not necessary, but it helps the peppers to get nice and soft for the subsequent operations, and adds some smoky flavor) at 300*F for about 30 minutes, or until they just start to brown. If you don't have pre-roasted garlic, then roast three heads worth now, and remember to take them out of the oven as soon as they brown or they can turn bitter (this is usually before the peppers are done).

While this is roasting, take 80oz. of Crushed Pineapple (in unsweetened juice, not syrup), and 56oz. of Diced Tomatoes and add them to a 8-10qt. stock pot and bring to a light simmer. Zest and juice four to six limes and add it to this mixture. Then, when the garlic and peppers are ready, chop them up and throw them into the mix:

The mixture should now look like this:
At this point, you can add cinnamon and salt to taste, as well as some allspice if that's your bag. Simmer whilst covered for at least two hours on low to medium heat (it should be boiling but not browning the stuff on the bottom). Stir occasionally, and enjoy the kitchen-clearing aroma.

After the simmer period, you need to remove the pot from heat, and let it cool down enough that it is safe to put into a food processor or blender. When it is, then frappe or liquefy it. Return it to heat, and add molasses to taste, which will give it a darker brown color. At this point, adjust you spice balance, and add any additional citrus flavor if necessary to retain the character.

It works best if cooked with pork or chicken at 250*F for several hours wrapped in foil, then put on the grill for the caramelizing treatment (use at least three layers). Last year I used brown sugar instead of molasses for RibFest at work (my department cooks for this particular shindig), and that worked well also. I'm excited to try the new mixture, so I'll update after our end-of-summer family BBQ tomorrow at my little sister's house!

UPDATE: Fuck me, it's incredible! Excercise caution, as my digestive system is currently disputing that statement.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mad Scientist?

...I must be mad, because I'm putting 38 habaneros and three serranos into something, and I plan to eat it. I'll walk you through my descent into culinary insanity in a little while...