Grilling: Jerk Pork Skewers

[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

I tend to go into grilling kicks—my latest is a need for spicy heat. It started with the sweet and spicy corn slathered with chili-lime butter, then the smoky bite of honey chipotle wings, and this week it was jerk pork skewers, made with fiery habeneros.

I still can't quite figure out a definitive jerk recipe—they tend to run the gamut from marinades to rubs, some involving only a few ingredients, others demanding a whole pantry's worth. This recipe is from Weber's Way to Grill. The jerk paste is so delicious I couldn't help but take more than a few extra spoonfuls when taste-testing—it's tangy, fresh, and packs a heat that kicks up my spice game.

Unfortunately, the heavy kick I loved in the marinade diminished a bit after being grilled, but these were still top-notch. The jerk flavors pair well with the accompanying honey-lime sauce, which had a cooling effect that balances out even spicier skewers. Next time I'm going to bring up the heat even higher with three or four habenaros—now that should be hot.

Adapted from Weber's Way to Grill by Jamie Purviance

About the author: Joshua Bousel blogs about grilling on his blog, The Meatwave, and appears here on Serious Eats each Friday with a recipe for weekend grilling.

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Grilling: Jerk Pork Skewers

About This Recipe

Rated:

Ingredients

  • For the paste:
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, seeded
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, lightly chopped
  • 6 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Type of fire: direct
  • Grill heat: high

Procedures

  1. 1

    Place all of the ingredients for the paste in the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Place pork chunks in large Ziploc bag and pour in the paste, seal and toss to evenly distribute; open and reseal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

  2. 2

    In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. While the charcoal is lighting, thread the pork chunks onto the skewers.

  4. 4

    When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the skewers on the grill and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning three or four times during grilling. Serve immediately with the honey-lime sauce.

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