* This is a sponsored post *
Seeing as we can’t guarantee sunshine, even at this time of the year, we have to live vicariously through the food we eat. You can always bring a bit of sunshine in to your life with Jamaican food and these Jamaican Jerk Meatballs do just that! Just picture yourself laying on a beautiful Caribbean beach eating these, with Just A Splash of rum of course!
We have been lucky the past week though, as the sun has been shining and that’s making us think of all the tropical recipes we want to share with you. Jerk just screams tropical flavours and instead of having it with chicken, try it with these turkey meatballs.
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What is Jamaican food without a splash of rum in it? Incomplete! We spent 2 weeks in Jamaica back in 2014 and if a meal didn’t have some rum in it, then I made sure to compensate with a rum cocktail to go alongside it! Rum adds so much flavour to a meal, and no need to worry about opening a whole bottle for just one dish, as ‘Just A Splash’ has you covered!
What is ‘Just A Splash’? They are an award-winning range of quality culinary alcohols in handy, recipe-sized 100ml pouring pouches. Why buy a bottle, when you can buy these handy pouches. Spirits and fortified wines have a new lease of life as delicious cooking ingredients. Now you can buy just the amount you need.
When a recipe calls for just a splash, spending £10 (or more) on a bottle of something you probably won’t drink and will sit in the back of the cupboard just doesn’t make financial sense. But a little bit of alcohol can really liven up baking and cooking.
Why cook with alcohol? Cooking with alcohol is as much about how it tastes as it is about what it does in the pan. When used properly alcohol adds a rich and warming depth of flavour to food. This happens through two processes, evaporation and molecular bonding.
A simple splash of a spirit will naturally intensify the flavours of a finished dish by bonding with both the fat and water molecules, bridging the gap between the two. This is important because our aroma receptors respond only to molecules dissolved in fat, whilst food is primarily water. Alcohol, therefore, makes it easier for your aroma receptors to absorb the flavours of food. In a marinade, the alcohol would bond with aromatics like garlic and herbs that dissolve in fat, and help absorb the flavours into the meat. It also helps to tenderise the meat itself.
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I usually cook jerk chicken in the slow cooker, but I wanted to do something a bit different this time. So, I did a Jamaican twist on meatball marinara and baked the lean turkey meatballs in a jerk sauce. I wish you could have smelled our kitchen when this was cooking – it was amazing! Because the meatballs are baked in the oven in the sauce, they stay really moist and they have a bit of a kick to them, so not one for young kids!
This isn’t a recipe for those people that don’t like spicy food, as it is packing some heat. We kept it traditional with the chillis and used scotch bonnets. Not only do they have a lot of heat to them, giving Jerk the delicious spice we know and love, but they have an incredible flavour, with a touch of sweetness. They compliment the flavour of the Just a Splash rum perfectly.
Here is how to make these Jamaican Jerk Meatballs
- 450 g Ground/mince turkey (you could use any mince)
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- Thumb sized piece of ginger
- 4 Spring onions/scallions
- 1 Scotch bonnet chilli
- 1 tbsp Mustard seeds
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Peppercorns
- 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Dried thyme
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree/tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Just A Splash rum
- 1 tbsp Allspice
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 100 ml Water
- 4 tbsp Chopped pineapple
Put all of the ingredients (apart from the turkey mince and pineapple) in a food processor and blend. If you don’t have a food processor, you could finely chop everything and mix together.
Put the turkey in a bowl and add 2 tbsp of the jerk sauce and mix together. Make meatballs and put them in an oven dish.
Pour the rest of the jerk sauce over the meatballs and add the pineapple and mix.
Put in the oven on a high heat and cook for 40 minutes – make sure the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve with "rice and peas" (red kidney beans)
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~ These Jamaican Jerk Meatballs are a commissioned recipe for Just A Splash ~
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