This post is brought to you by Grace Foods and we thank you for your continued support of our FBC partners.
Can we finally embrace the arrival of Spring? With the long weekend behind us, it's time to take matters into our own hands and will ourselves to enjoy all the wonderful things that comes with the end of Winter, like BBQ-ing. It's time to #GrillWithGrace! Nothing will put you in a better (and non-snow) mood than dreaming about the crystal clear water of Jamaica and traditional Jerk flavours! For those that aren't very familiar with Jerk, it refers to a traditional Jamaican method of seasoning which can include cooking meats, seafood, veggies or even tofu. Jerk takes its flavours from Jamaica's fertile green landscape which includes an exotic blend of scallions, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, thyme, allspice, black pepper and many other spices. Savoury, fragrant, and tenaciously spicy, Jerk is a must-have for that burst of flavour and a touch of heat.
The origins of the name "Jerk" has a few different interpretations. Some say it originates from the Peruvian word, "Charqui", used to describe jerked or dried meat. Over time this term evolved from "Charqui" to "Jerky" to "Jerk." The second theory claims the name originates from the practice of jerking (poking) holes in the meat to fill with spices prior to cooking. Whatever the history, it's a great way to embrace new spices and flavours to the table!
How to Use Jerk
Grace Foods began in Jamaica in 1922 and has been doing Jerk for a very long time so you know they're doing something right! Their products range from all types of Caribbean flavours that are synonymous with tropical island life. Not only do they have all sorts of various coconut products, juices and sodas for a warm day, they have an impressive array of Jerk products!
- Jerk Seasoning (the classic jerk) Rub paste onto your raw meat along with other fresh ingredients, marinate for at least an hour before grilling or barbequing to get the traditional, classic jerk taste.
Tip: use as is for a dry finish, no extra ingredients added (traditional) or create a sauce to base it with while cooking to tame down some of the spice. For best results, marinate for at least 4 hours.
- Jerk BBQ Sauce (the versatile one). Brush both sides of the meat with this sweeter jerk sauce during the last 5-6 minutes of cooking. It can also be added to casseroles, stews or stir fry dishes. The sauce can be used as a condiment or as a dip.
- Jerk Marinade (the time crunch). Easy and fast, all in one jerk. Simply mix into your raw meat, marinate for at least one hour and you’re ready to cook in an oven, on the grill or stove top.
Tip: Brush on additional jerk marinade during cooking for extra flavour.
- Jerk Dipping Sauce (the last minute fix). Drizzle on cooked food or use as a spicy dipping sauce.
Jerk Beef and Shrimp Kebabs
We put all the Jerk products to the test with Laureen from Art And the Kitchen. Having vacationed in Jamaica four times, she already knew how good Jerk can be. To re-create those flavours in her home, she took the challenge and ran with it with these beautiful and bright looking Jerk Beef and Shrimp Kebabs! There's nothing like bringing a taste of the Caribbean home with you!
- 1 lb. sirloin tip steak cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 tbsp. red onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. Grace Jerk Seasoning- Mild (Hot variety if you like a lot of heat)
- 1 cup Grace Jerk Marinade
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
- Red, yellow and green peppers cut into bite size pieces
- Red onion cut into bite sized pieces
- 20-24 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lime
- Trim fat from steak cut into 1 inch cubes.
- In large bowl combine onion, olive oil, honey, thyme, Grace Jerk Seasoning and Grace Jerk Marinade.
- Add beef and toss together until beef is fully coated with marinade.
- Transfer to Ziploc bag, refrigerate and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Cut peppers and onions into bite sized pieces.
- Thread beef, peppers and onions onto skewers.
- Cut lime into thin slices.
- Thread shrimp and lime slices onto skewers.
- Squeeze lime juice over shrimp.
- Preheat grill and grease (I spray with cooking spray)
- Over medium-high heat grill beef kebabs about 2-3 minutes per side, 8-12 minutes in all.
- Grill shrimp about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Serve with Yogurt Jerk Dipping Sauce or Grace Jerk Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Grace Jerk Seasoning (mild)*
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons red onions finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Stir together all ingredients, refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavours to infuse.
- *adjust seasoning to your desired “heat” level, or try Grace Jerk Seasoning “Hot” variety.
FBC Member Opportunity
And now equipped with the history of Jerk, various ways to use it and the inspiration of the Jerk Kebabs, Grace Foods is putting a call-out for more food bloggers to put their own spin on Jerk and #GrillWithGrace with the firing up the BBQ! It's a paid opportunity and the selected bloggers will also receive an amazing box of Grace Foods products and a 4-piece Cuisipro BBQ set for all your Jerk cooking needs and more! Click here for more details on this awesome opportunity.