I’m a big fan of Jerk Seasoning and flavors. Traditional Jerk combines the flavors of allspice, scotch bonnet peppers, green onion, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. It is a heady combination of aromatic spices and heat, that makes for a pungently addictive marinade.
Living in South Florida, we have a large Caribbean population being so close to the islands so I am lucky to find Jamaican ingredients and the best pre-made Jerk seasoning available if I don’t have time to make it myself.
I recently picked up a copy of Virginia Burke’s Eat Caribbean in an effort to teach myself how to cook the Rotis and Pepperpot stews I’ve been exposed to in my travels. Virginia also happens to be the marketing director for Walkerswood Foods, which my Jamaican friends tell me is the most authentic Jerk Seasoning you can buy in the market.
Virginia has a Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce recipe in her book that I’m sharing with you below. While I usually like to make Jerk Seasoning from scratch, I had a bottle of Walkerswood and used it in this recipe and it turned out great. The only variation I made was using twice the amount of Jerk seasoning and the addition of lime zest. I like things spicy so if you can’t handle spice, reduce the amount of Jerk to 1 tblsp. I put this on chicken legs, but this sauce would be excellent on pork as well. Pretty much anything you might put BBQ sauce on.
- 3 cups ketchup
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp molasses or tamarind paste
- 2 tbsp pickapeppa or worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp hot mustard
- juice of one lime
- zest of one lime
- 2 tbsp Jerk Seasoning (see recipe below) OR Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, 10 oz
- 1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and let simmer for 10 minutes or until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Store in the refrigerator. You can also try my Jerk Seasoning Paste Recipe as a great variation to use in this recipe.
Virginia Burke's Jerk Seasoning Recipe (fyi, Virginia is managing marketing director of Walkerswood Food so this is a very authentic recipe)
- 6 green onions
- 1–3 scotch bonnet peppers (use only one if you can't handle too much heat)
- 2 tsp allspice berries or 1tsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme OR 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup white malt vinegar
- 1 tbsp oil
recipe adapted from Eat Caribbean by Virginia Burke
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