Seasoning meat in Trinidad is art in itself and it is an important factor of Trini cooking, that is responsible for the unique taste of our dishes. Part of the fact I believe also is that we do not like the fresh smell of meat, especially chicken, when we're cooking or eating UGHH! As I mentioned before in the stew pork post, we always marinate our meats before cooking, as opposed to the popular "season as you go" technique.
Always Use Fresh Herbs
Another important point to note is that we also like to use fresh herbs or green seasoning when we're seasoning meat. In the line up of herbs we have chadon beni, chive, big leaf thyme, Spanish thyme and sometimes fine leaf thyme, together with the regular onion, garlic and pimento peppers. As you can see already, these local seasoning ingredients make for a very aromatic flavour when the meat is marinated.
Curry and Geera
Added to this basic seasoning recipe there are variations according to the use of the meat. For example if you're going to curry the meat you would season it with some curry powder as well. The same goes for when you want to 'geera" the meat; you would add some geera powder ( roasted ground cumin) to the meat like in geera pork or geera chicken.
Seasoning meat can also extend beyond the Trini kitchen. Since seasoning meat is a way of preserving it other "treatments" can also be considered. In another time honoured tradition in Trinidad and Tobago, meat is also preserved by Buccaneering (smoking) but it takes some skill. Buccaneering is used mostly by hunters to preserve "wild meat" (game) while in the forest. While smoking the meat, special plants are placed over the flame to flavour the meat. Sounds interesting doesn't it! Anyhow I'm over talking again, so here's how to season meat Trini style.
How to Season Meat Trini Style
8 leaves chadon beni, chopped
1 sprig Spanish thyme, chopped
1 chive, chopped
1 lemon or lime, cut in halves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ onion, chopped
3 pimento peppers, chopped
2 heads big leaf thyme, chopped
½ tbsp. salt
Gather and chop all your ingredients.
Cut up the chicken and wash with half of the lemon or lime.
Add the chopped ingredients and salt. Squeeze the other half of the lemon and mix thoroughly.
Here we have the finished seasoned chicken all ready to be bagged out into smaller portions.
Here I seasoned minced beef the same way.
I hope you enjoyed the post. Coming up in my next post a simple breakfast/ dinner recipe you don't even have to cook! Until then, Bye! How do you season your meat? Leave your comment on seasoning meat in the comment box below.
Ah gone 😉