Authentic Jamaican Food for the Jamaica lover in you
Authentic or real Jamaican food comes in the form of provision foods cultivated by farmers. These foods such as, yellow yam, yampy, sweet potato, white potato, dasheen, breadfruit, Ackee, green banana, plantains, peas and so much more fruits and vegetables. The authentic meat to compliment the provisions are curry goat, curry chicken, jerk chicken, jerk pork, oxtail, ackee & salt fish (cod fish) known as “Jamaica’s National Dish”, along with fish and much more.
The Jerk style technique of grilling is an authentic cooking style that has being around since the 15th century. The jerk seasoning was used as a way of preserving the meat. The jerk seasoning remained popular in Jamaica but took a back seat to curry goat, curry chicken and ackee & salt fish. The jerk seasoning was used as part of our Granny’s cooking style while we were growing up in Walkerswood, St. Ann and Lucky Hill St. Mary. In the country, Granny was able to get all the fresh ingredients including the pimento wood and pimento berry leaves to season the meat.
Spicy cooking has always being a tradition in all the islands. But by adding the jerk seasons to the meat it brought out this “incredibly flavor and taste.” During Granny’s cooking days, we just considered the food spicier; the jerk foods was not called jerk chicken and jerk pork or jerk anything. Since Granny was a great cook, we just knew it tasted fabulous. As the Jamaican saying goes, “old time something come back again.” The jerk seasoning which was once just a different style of cooking started gaining lots of popularity in the 1980s.
Many people around the world today and all the people in Jamaica have access to jerk seasoning but not the pimento wood and pimento leaves for the added authentic jerk flavor. Nonetheless, adding the jerk seasoning to your meat gives the meat that incredible jerk food taste which is absolutely delicious and has become a favorite dish for people around the world. Now the island that is known for its tranquility, exotic beaches and reggae music have added Jerk dishes to its international brand,Jamaica.
Curry Goat Recipe
Curry goat was once Jamaica’s most famous authentic dish. Curry goat was traditionally cooked in Jamaica on the weekends and at all gathering festive events. Today, curry goat is still very popular in Jamaica and around the world. Curry goat is generally serve with white rice, rice and peas or food such as green banana, yellow yam and cook dumpling.
Ingredients: (Use Ocho Rios Jerk, All in one seasoning to saves time for people on the go. )
5 lbs Goat meat
½ cup Curry Powder
½ tbsp Allspice, pimento powder
¼ cup Ocho Rios Jerk “All in One” dry Seasoning.
2 Potato, medium (helps to thicken gravy).
1 Onion, fresh thyme, scallions, garlic and salt (included in “All in One” dry seasoning) all optional.
1 Kettle boiled water and leave to cool (optional)
Cut up goat meat into the size of a small strawberry and wash goat meat and let water drain. Add all the ingredients together on goat meat except, 1/4 cup curry powder, and potato to use later.
- Rub the ingredients into the meat. (Curry stain, use gloves or spoon to protect hands).
- Cover and leave curried goat meat to marinate for two hours or more. (Refrigerate preferable).
- Peel potatoes and dice in cubes to use later.
- Slightly cover marinated curried goat meat in pot with cool water from kettle or pipe and add lid to pot.
- Fire from stove should be turn between medium and high.
- Once pot starts boiling, add remaining 1/4 cup curry powder, and potatoes.
- Cook for 2 to 3 hours base on tenderness of goat meat.
- Add potatoes once food is half cook.
- Stirring occasionally and add water to pot from kettle as needed to prevent water from drying out until meat is tender.
- Reduce fire for 2 to 3 minutes or until done.
Cooking notes & health tip:
For a healthier meal when cooking curry goat, we encourage removing fat from meat. Adapt a healthier lifestyle of cooking without giving up the mouth watering taste we have grown to love.
Yes, traditionally, curry goat was the most popular dish in Jamaica. However, in today’s society, more people are vegetations and others who do not eat red meat. Curry goat still remain a favorite of many Jamaicans and people around the world.
Tip: Curry goat can produce oil during cooking which will rise to the top of the pot if the fat is not trim completely from the meat. Use a spoon to skim oil and remove from pot for a healthier meal.