Ed's Roadhouse Jerky - Spicy Jamaican Jerk (a rare "Best" rating)
- I've been sharing this blog's best ratings which are rare, about one every 2-3 months. This blog really is into the world of beef jerky. I tried one of his "best" rated ones and liked them very much. As much as we use jerky on trail, might as well make them something special.
Sent to you by Roleigh Martin via Google Reader:via Beef Jerky Reviews by Steve Johnson on 12/20/10Spicy Jamaican Jerk is the newest flavor from Ed's Roadhouse Jerky. The company, based out of Buffalo Grove, IL, describes their latest offering as "sweet and spicy and full of exotic caribbean flavor".
And based on the ingredients list, it contains scotch bonnet and habanero peppers.
Ed's Roadhouse Jerky is operated by Ed Herman, who's been making jerky for over 20 years based on a childhood fascination with BBQ. He now focuses on combining spicy hot foods with decadent sweet.
Angus beef, garlic, salt, sugar, water, soy bean, wheat, natural flavoring spices, molasses, onion, jamaican escallion, thyme, cane vinegar, pimento, nutmeg, allspice, scotch bonnet & habanero peppers.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong sweetness, and a strong habanero pepper flavor. There's also a fair amount of saltiness as well as a strong spice blend. Meanwhile, a burn builds up quickly.
The chewing flavor starts with a natural meat flavor, and a bit more definition from the marinade, while the surface flavors mix into the chewing. The burn continues building.
As for being dubbed "Spicy Jamaican Jerk", it holds up pretty well. First, it's very spicy both in terms of having a complex spice blend producing a dominant flavor. But there's also that spicy burn from the chile peppers, in addition to a well-noticed chile pepper flavor, very much like the habanero flavor.
As for the Jamaican Jerk part of the name, this seems to hold up also. It has that allspice flavor, and that flavor of chile peppers, which for Jamaican cooking would be the scotch bonnets. But having never eaten a scotch bonnet, I'm not qualified to judge. But I can definitely say this has an easily noticeable habanero flavor.
And as for the chile pepper heat, this jerky packs a lot of heat. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as "medium hot", a level 4 out of 5. It's generates a good deal of that capsaicin rush and burn, but still allowing me to shovel these pieces of meat past my lips without stopping.
The Jamaican Jerk seasoning has a dominant taste profile, and seems to be stronger than the natural meat flavors, which is unlike many of Ed's Roadhouse's other varieties where the natural meat flavor still dominates. In this jerky I can still taste the natural meat flavor, and it still produces a significant flavor, but that Jamaican Jerk seasoning is still comprises the majority of jerky's taste.
But the natural meat flavors are very much the same flavor I've found in all of Ed's Roadhouse's jerky varieties, having a flavor comparable to a roasted, seasoned tri-tip.
The sweetness has its biggest impact in the first several chews and slowly fades away until it's almost gone by the time I swallow it down.
The level of saltiness in this seems high, and higher than Ed's other varieties. Meanwhile the level of sweetness
Overall, this jerky is going to wallop you with a ton of flavor, mostly coming from a complex Jamaican Jerk spice blend, with an easily noticeable habanero chile pepper flavor, a fair amount of sweetness, a lot of burn, the natural meat flavors, and a strong saltiness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thin bite sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky with a semi-moist, slightly sticky, surface feel. The pieces have a lot of flexibility, and are easy to tear apart with my fingers. Chewing also seems easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft, having a fair amount of pliability. There's a bit of initial chewing resistance, but gives way quickly and chews down to a soft mass with fairly easy effort. At that point, it has a meaty, steak-like chewing texture, somewhat comparable to one cooked medium.
Most of these pieces have small bits and streaks of fat visible on them, and the fat does seem to contribute to the overall flavor, but in a positive way, giving it a beefy character. I don't see any gristle or tendon, but just a little bit of stringiness. I don't encounter any unchewable tissues.
In terms of clean eating, handling these pieces leaves a fine sticky film on my fingers, which picks up pieces of spice and chile pepper flakes, requiring a rubbing or occasional licking and wiping.
Ed's Roadhouse Jerky sells this Spicy Jamaican Jerk variety from its website in several package sizes. If you bought four 4oz packages, with shipping out to Southern California, the total would cost $34.75 ($29.00 + $5.75). That works out to a price of $2.17 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.17 per ounce price, it provides a good value. It's priced a little bit higher than the major brands of jerky at the grocery store, but I'm getting a lot of snackability in this for its great tasting complex flavor, excellent meat consistency and good chewing texture.
As a Spicy Jamaican Jerk variety of beef jerky, at the same $2.17 per ounce price, it's also a good value. I'm getting a flavor that I could easily consider "Jamaican Jerk", and it's definitely spicy.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Spicy Jamaican Jerk variety from Ed's Roadhouse Jerky belts out a lot of flavor, perhaps more so than many of Ed's other flavors, if not the most. The Jamaican Jerk seasoning is very prominent, and seems to hold itself to that style of flavor, resembling the same flavors I get from other foods and dishes described with the words "Jamaican Jerk".
But there's so much more going on in this jerky. There's a chile pepper flavor that's so easily recognizeable and hard to miss. You get a medium-hot burn and rush from those peppers. There's a significant amount of sweetness, and then there's the natural meat flavors that I find in all of Ed's jerky varieties. And each of these components are identifiable on their own.
And then there's the overall great meat consistency. It's easy to eat, but still chews like a real piece of steak. It's a dry jerky, but still manages to eat and chew like moist jerky. The bite sized pieces make it more snackable, in my opinion.
If there's any negative in this, it's the higher saltiness. This just feels more salty than Ed's other varieties. But there's so many more positives that it's difficult for me to knock this for that reason.
As for my recommended beer pairing, definitely NOT a Red Stripe. But this does call for something more light and refreshing with its higher saltiness. The Stella Artois would fit that description, but still adds a little Belgian flavor, which I think would work with the Jamaican seasoning.
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