Jamaica, that little Caribbean island is well known for many traditions including ‘Jerk’. Jerk is used to describe a method of cooking meat (although lots more than just meat is jerked these days) that has been marinated in a spicy concoction. The meat is usually cooked over open flames using wood or coal. Jerk can be used as both a noun and a verb. For example, I am having jerk for dinner tonight – noun. Or I am going to jerk the chicken – verb.
Enough of a lesson, except for this last bit. You remember I’ve said that much more than meat is jerked now in Jamaica? Well, there are jerk festivals throughout the country at various times of the year and Jamaicans being the inventive people they are, have been known to jerk vegetables and even fruits such as jackfruit. What is called BBQ the world over, is known as jerk in Jamaica.
So let’s get down to business. We have teamed up with Aldi to show that you can have a bbq for £20. Well, this is the second of the season. Last week we had a sumptuous spread. All the ingredients we needed came from Aldi and the total cost was £20.15.
Well, this week, we got all the ingredients again from Aldi and the cost was a tad over £21. Check here to see last week’s BBQ which was in celebration of the England football match which they won comprehensively over Panama.
This is this weeks haul from Aldi.
And here is the spread of food, mouth-watering isn’t it?
We have tried to make this bbq as authentic as possible. I’ll tell you how.
Well, when Jamaicans jerk chicken or any other food, they usually try to get a particular wood which adds to the aroma and flavour, that is pimento wood. We did not have any of that available so…..
In Jamaica, the meat is often poked, and a whole chicken is cut through in half and then marinated. That way, the marinade gets to soak in and the meat is succulent and tasty once cooked. We did cut the chicken in half, poked it so it was really a treat to taste.
We usually hold back on the spice on some of the chicken when there are children involved.
Usually, Jamaicans don’t jerk burgers, but as the saying goes: ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’. So we had some burgers with our jerk fayre. Lol.
In Jamaica, it’s a long-held tradition to roast corn on the cob on open flames. However the corn is usually in its husk so that it is steamed on the open flame, then finished without the husk on the open flame. It’s a totally different flavour and I just love it! Usually, in the supermarkets here, it is not possible to get corn on the cob with the husk on, so whenever we do get the chance we buy corn on the cob in the market and prepare them the traditional authentic Jamaican way. Its common as well to get corn on the cob boiled in flavoured water or in a soup.
What do Jamaicans usually drink at a BBQ? something fizzy usually. Red Stripe beer or Heineken beer or fizzy pop for the younger ones is what is usually consumed. We had Shandy and cola from Aldi of course and they quench the thirst just as well.
Jamaicans usually make their own special blend of marinade to rub on the food to be jerked and each family’s recipe varies slightly. Of course, there are many commercially available jerk marinades now which is good if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your own. See how to make your own award winning marinade here and thankfully, you can get most of the ingredients from Aldi. The recipe is free to you, by the way.
Although we are so far away from our beloved homeland Jamaica, we are grateful that there is saving grace in the form of Aldi from which we are able to get all we need for a bbq and at a fraction of the cost of what we would purchase the same ingredients for in any other supermarket. Thank you, Aldi, home away from home.
So two great bbq sessions have gone. Be sure to check next week to see us put on a vegan fayre of a bbq still flying the flag for Aldi. Hopefully, we will still have some sunshine to enjoy.
Did you put on a BBQ recently? We hope you have an Aldi near you and you managed to save a bundle. Let us know how you are coping in the hot weather too. We have some really good ideas for how to cope with the hot weather.