Rum Jerk Lamb

Florida is home to numerous Jamaican eateries. The preparation of Jerk — meat marinated in hot spices, dark rum and onions then grilled or barbecued — supposedly originated with runaway slaves who used the mixture to preserve wild meats without refrigeration.

2 racks lamb, about 8 cutlets each
Jerk mixture: 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 each: spring onions, garlic cloves, small bay leaves
1 large onion, diced
1-4 small chillies, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon each: dried thyme, ground allspice
pinch ground cloves
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup each: dark rum, lime juice

Trim the racks of lamb, if necessary. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make small slits in the lamb.
To prepare the jerk mixture, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Chop the spring onions, crush the garlic and add to the pan with the bay leaves, onion, chillies, thyme and spices. Sauté, stirring often, until the mixture turns golden, about 5 minutes. Add the rum and lime juice. Simmer until the liquid evaporates. Cool.

Rub the marinade over the lamb. Place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning the meat occasionally. Grill or barbecue (preferably over mesquite chips) for about 4 minutes each side for medium rare. Rest for 3-4 minutes before carving. Serves 4.


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