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Jerk in the Oven Recipe


Jerk pork
Rob Dollete/Flickr
This is not a method to roast that rude neighbor down the street! Traditional Jamaican jerk pork is made on the grill. This version is roasted in the oven to tender perfection. Jerk is supposed to be spicy, so do not skimp on the Scotch bonnet peppers. The result is tender and juicy pork roast with a blackened crust. This is a rustic dish, so just cut the jerk pork into large chunks to serve. Plan ahead so the pork can marinate at least 24 hours.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Marination Time: 24 hours

Total Time: 27 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


  • 1/2 cup ground allspice berries (the amount is correct)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 to 6 Scotch bonnet peppers, trimmed and seeded (wear gloves!)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground thyme or 3 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bunches scallions (green onions), greens included, trimmed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce to moisten
  • 1 (6 to 9 pounds) pork picnic shoulder roast


Place allspice, brown sugar, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and soy sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.

With a sharp knife, score the thick fat on the pork shoulder into a diamond pattern, but do not cut into the meat.

Using gloved hands, press and massage a thick coating of the jerk sauce on the exterior of the pork so it is completely covered with a thick coat. (Refrigerate any leftover sauce. It will keep for a month or more.) Place in a roasting pan and cover with a lid, foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate to marinate at least 24 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to cook, let pork sit at room temperature at least one hour or until it reaches room temperature, then preheat oven to 450 F. Line a roasting pan with heavy foil and insert a roasting rack. Roast pork uncovered for 30 minutes at this high heat, then lower temperature to 325 F. Bake an additional 3-1/2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of your pork shoulder. Let roast rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Authentic Jamaican Jerk Recipe
Jerk Pork in the Oven Recipe Photo © 2010 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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