Sweet and tangy cranberries and blackberries pair perfectly with the warm profile of Jamaican jerk spice in this Jamaican jerk cranberry sauce.
Want to hear a painfully funny story?
This one year for Christmas, my parents got a wonderful gift from my dad’s sister – a gorgeous Spanish paella pan, Spanish cookbook, and assortment of spices used in Spanish cooking. Most notably, it came with a big jar of saffron threads. My ma knew she couldn’t possibly use up all of that saffron herself, since so little is needed in a recipe to impart its flavor, so she sent me back to Baltimore with a little bag of it.
I had just run out of dried oregano, so I used the empty oregano jar to store the saffron, since the bag it came in wasn’t airtight.
A few months later, I was hanging out in the kitchen with my roommate at the time while he cooked his dinner. He knew how to cook one thing, and one thing only: rice and beans. I saw him reach for the jar of saffron. I expected him to pluck a strand or two of saffron out of the jar and put it back on the shelf. Instead, I watched in horror as he used the shaker cap to repeatedly shake saffron into his beans.
Me: “Umm… why are you putting so much saffron in that?”
Roommate: “……………..isn’t this oregano?”
Um. Oregano is green, buddy.
Me: “So… you’ve been putting that much saffron in your rice and beans… every time you make them?”
Roommate: (sheepish) “Yeah…”
The moral of this story? Sometimes the fact that two ingredients look completely different from each other, is not enough. Ever since that fateful saffron incident, I have NEVER neglected to label every random item in my pantry. That includes the jar of Jamaican jerk seasoning that I keep around. It looks a little bit like nutmeg. And someone who was trying to use nutmeg and ended up using a savory blend of spices including allspice, cilantro, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper might not be so stoked about the mixup.
This cranberry-blackberry sauce was no mixup, though. I absolutely wanted all of those flavors mixed in with my berries, along with a generous helping of rum. And since there’s no refined sugar and the rum cooks off (mostly.. I think?), feel free to pile this sauce onto your seitan roast.
Jamaican Jerk & Rum Cranberry Blackberry Sauce
The warm profile of Jamaican jerk seasoning makes for a subtle and delicious twist on traditional cranberry sauce.
1 teaspoon neutral oil (I used grapeseed oil)
1.5 to 2 tablespoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
8 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
4 oz. fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3 cup dark rum
1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup (sweeten to taste)
It doesn’t get much easier than this: Warm the oil in a saucepan. Add the Jamaican jerk seasoning and stir, cooking in the oil for just about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the berries, rum, and a few tablespoons of maple syrup and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce and cook over medium-low heat, stirring every minute or two, until berries are cooked down, about 20 minutes. Stir in more maple syrup to taste.
Yeah. So who else has a spice mixup nightmare story? I took pity on my roommate and didn’t make him pay me back for the at least $20 worth of saffron that he had eaten. That was sure nice of me 🙂