Tag Archives: jamaican flavor

Recipe #14: Jamaican Corned beef and Cabbage

17 Mar

When I was growing up we always ate the quick and easy dish of corned beef and cabbage, but the corned beef we always ate was the corned beef in a can, the bulla(y) beef.  Mom would cook it down with some cabbage and white rice and that is what I knew as corned beef and cabbage. It wasn’t until I was with a friend on St. Patty’s Day, we were eating at this Irish Pub and I ordered corned beef and cabbage.  It looked completely different, I realized that the corned beef and cabbage I ate growing up was a completely the, “I am not a chef version.”  LOL. So I went searching in The Cookbook, I figure, if I ate it while growing up, it must be because it is a traditional recipe that my mom transformed….lol. And guess what I found? A recipe for corned beef! Just so happens it is also St. Patrick’s Day!

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 12 Pimento berries
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 3 slices hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 3 table spoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saltpetre
  • 3 lb leg, loin or silverside of beef

Pound the pimento berries in a mortar.  Add the scallion, hot pepper and garlic and pound these almost to a puree, then combine with the black pepper, thyme, salt and saltpetre and mix well.

With a sharp, long, narrow-bladed knife, make incisions all over the meat.  Place a little of the seasoning mixture in each incision, leaving some to rub over the outside of the meat.

Place the seasoned meat in a glass, china or earthenware container, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it for 2-3 days in the bottom of the ridge.

When the mean is to be cooked, transfer it to a large pot with plenty of water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently cook until it is tender.  This should take about 2 hours.  the corned beef should be tender but not falling apart.

OK here is what did:

First, luckily it was St. Patrick’s Day week. I was able to find an already prepped beef loin, so I didn’t have to worry about the saltpetre.  Image

I took the pimento and the scallion and pounded them in a bowl.  Very similar to what I did for the jerk rub. But I made a much better mixture.


I added a whole hot pepper, sliced, pepper, garlic, pepper and  less salt since the corned beef was already salted. Pounded everything all together and got a great smelling paste.


Then I made the incisions in the beef and stuffed the mixture into each incision, I rubbed the remaining mixture all of the beef.  I covered the beef and let it sit in the fridge for 2 days.


Once I was ready to cook, I placed the beef in a pot, and filled it about half way with water.


I brought everything to a boil, lowered the heat and cooked this for about 2-3 hours.


This is smelling delicious at this point.  My mother kept lifting the pot. After about 2 1/2 hours I removed the beef.

I let it rest for a few minutes, and then sliced it up.


This is beautiful because you can see all the seasoning that you stuffed into each incision when you slice it.


To make the cabbage, I simply added onions, and carrots to an oiled hot skillet and cooked that until the onions were translucent. I sliced up cabbage and added it to the onions and carrots.  Here is the kicker! I added the juice from the pot the beef was in and poured it over the cabbage.  I let that cook down until the cabbage was tender but still had a crunch.


This was so delicious. I think my favorite recipe. Very flavorful beef. My mom even loved it and she actually is not a beef lover.  My dad was not a huge fan, only because corned beef has the red on the inside.  He kept asking if it was actually cooked.  I informed him that canned corned beef is also red on the inside.  My brother LOVED the cabbage, and he never compliments anything so I know that was a hit!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!



25 Feb

Today when I got up my father offered to make breakfast.  He also told me he put a new battery in my computer.  These random acts of kindness are not all that random..I think he is just really just trying to butter me up.  He may be more exciting about my journey than I am.  LOL..  Grocery story shopping has become so interesting, now I am trying not to get the same meats over and over again. Then I realized we haven’t eaten shrimp in a while. Decided to see what the COOKBOOK had for shrimp.  Curried Shrimp yum! Curry is so good, and similar to jerk seasonings, you can curry almost anything. So curried Shrimp it is! Although, warning from now, ladies, If you just got your nails done you may want to wait before making this dish. You will find out why at the end.

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 2lbs fresh shirmp
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1fl oz oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3-4 slices hot pepper
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped (optional)
  • salt
  • blackpepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Shell the shrimps, then fry them gently in the butter and oil with the onions and garlic.  Add the curry powder, stirring it for a few seconds, then add the tomato, hot pepper, sweet pepper, salt and black pepper,  Pour in the water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium.  The dish should be ready in 10 minutes or when the sac has reduces and thickened.

OK Here is what I did:

I followed the recipe almost exactly, I bought a pack of frozen shrimp already shelled and cleaned. I just rinsed them off.


I also added a some salt to the shrimp before I began frying.  I fried the shrimp with the onions and garlic in the butter and oil mix. The smell was divine!


I fried the shrimp slowly, and soon they  turned that gorgeous pink color. Image

Then, I added my curry. I have curry that I bought from a Jamaican bakery. They sell nice big bags that are made in Jamaica.  But they sell curry in almost every grocery story now.



Smelling good!! I added water, and then covered the pot to let it simmer.


Wallah! Image

I served mine up with white rice! It was so good dad went back for seconds, so did I. LOL

The only thing I would change about this recipe is adding less water.  I wanted my sauce to be a little thicker.  Besides that the shrimps were spicy and delicious. The only thing about curry is that it stains.  Curry will stain everything, your clothes, your hand, your skin, your nails. Look at my palm a day later from where I placed a drop to taste the sauce!


No worries, it will fade away.  Besides, it was all worth it!

Recipe #6: Traditional Homemade Jerked Seasoning on Pork Chops

13 Feb

YUMMY!! As promised, I said I was going to make a homemade jerk recipe.  I read a jerked pork chop recipe in the book, but I wasn’t sure because the ingredients in the book didn’t sound like the type of jerk seasonings that I know. This book actually doesn’t even have a recipe for jerk chicken, which is the jerk that most of us are used to.  The only recipe that it has is for those jerked pork chops.  Luckily, I took pork chops out of the freezer last night and they were ready to be cooked.

According to my parents, during the time that this book was published, 1985, jerk was mostly done on pork.  Jerk chicken didn’t become known as the popular jerk that we are used to until later when cooks would roll around on the North Coast attracting tourists to their fragrant drums, where they grilled Jerk chicken.

Jerk chicken became the popular jerked food, when actually, traditionally, jerk pork was the original jerk!  The recipe from the book is the traditional jerk.

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 4lbs pork chops or any other cut
  • 2 oz pimento berries (all spice)
  • 6 stalks escallion, chopped
  • 2-3 hot pepper, chopped
  • 4 cinnamon leaves, or bay leaves, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Wash and dry the pork. Heat the pimento berries in a small frying pan, stirring them for 5 minutes, then put them in a mortar and pound them until they are powdery.  Add the escallion, hot pepper, cinnamon or bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Pound these together until you have a thick paste.  Rub the paste all over the pork and leave it for at least an hour over night in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to cook, placed the seasoned meat on the grill of a barbecue or coal pot.  Life the grill to the highest notch on the barbecue and gently cook the meat over charcoal made from burning green pimento wood. Or you can throw pimento berries on the charcoal… Pork should be ready in an hour.

Here is what I did:

I followed the recipe for the jerk paste almost exactly. The fragrance from the roasting pimento (all spice) berries was amazing.


Now I don’t have a mortar (something I need to invest it), my mother had the nerve to hand me a toy one… smh. So  instead I used a wooden block and crushed up the pimento. The crushing the pimento part took a while.   I added all of the other ingredients, I used a bay leaf, and ended up with a great smelling paste.  *Probably was a little chunkier than it needed to be, but smashing those pimento berries was no joke.*


I went ahead and rubbed the pork chops with the paste, coating both sides.


Since it is also winter, I didn’t pull out the grill.  I just baked my pork chops.  I baked them for 45 minutes… my father likes his meat well done. Then I broiled it for 5 mins, just to get a nice color.


Sooo.. how did my traditional jerk seasoning turn out.?…Amazing! My mom loved it, the flavor was so good. So different than the stuff from the jar.  I can’t wait until summer time, I am going to pull out the grill and put that paste on everything!

Change? Time should be spent really grinding down those pimento berries, otherwise the pieces may be to big.  But they sell ground allspice pimento berries as well, so maybe I will try that.  Also, next time I will definitely marinate it over night and add another hot pepper, you know I love it spicy!!