Jerk is a Jamaican cooking style that refers to a way that meat, like goat, lamb, beef, pork, or fish is seasoned and cooked. Typically, jerk seasoning will be a marinade or paste that includes ground allspice berries, and the ultra-hot habernero pepper, known as the scotch bonnet. You can reduce the heat by omitting the seeds when sliced or by substituting jalapeno for a milder sauce.
The allspice berry native to the West Indies and South America is also known as Jamaica or Myrtle pepper. It is a popular spice in Jamaica and a necessity in jerk seasoning. The dark brown, dried berries look similar to peppercorns, and can be purchased whole or ground. Use a mortar and pestle to grind your own, or improvise with a spice, coffee or pepper grinder. If you want to be really traditional, try to source pimento wood, and start your grill with that, there are a few sources online.
This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.
Shepherd Song Farm Lamb Riblets
1 oz grape seed oil
1 red onion
1 orange for juice and zest
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup molasses
1 cup pineapple juice
8 oz scallions
2 habenero chili peppers (or jalapenos)
3 Tablespoons allspice berries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 oz chopped parsley
¼ purple cabbage head
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 oz mayo
1 oz powder sugar
Mortar & pestle
- Place the lamb ribs in a small stock pot, cover with water and slowly simmer for a few hours.
- Be sure there is enough liquid so the ribs do not touch the air.
- Once tender, remove from pot, drain and reserve.
Barbecue Sauce and Salad
- Dice red onion and slice garlic, scallions, and mince peppers.
- Heat large stock pot and add oil and add onions, garlic, peppers & scallions.
- Reserve 1 Tablespoon of each ingredient for garnish.
- Once lightly colored (approximately 3 minutes) add spices.
- Deglaze with pineapple juice and cook for 1 minute, then add molasses, soy sauce and chopped herbs.
- Reduce by 1/4 and reserve.
- Thinly slice carrots and cabbage and add vinegar, mayo, and sugar. Toss well, then serve.
Finish and Serve
Note: ribs are already fully cooked and only need to be crisped and browned on the grill. You can also warm them in an oven.
- Oil the ribs lightly, then grill at medium heat on each sides for 1 minute.
- Baste with barbecue sauce and remove from heat once sticky.
- Be careful to keep the ribs away from direct heat once coated with the sauce as they will burn.
- Garnish with left over sauce, onions, peppers, and herbs. Serve with coleslaw.