Jamaican Jerk Ginger Beer Pulled Pork


The idea for this recipe started with me misreading a menu in New Orleans. I read Jamaican Ginger Beer Pulled Pork and I automatically thought it would be jerk seasoned. I didn’t even realize that they were referring to the ginger beer being Jamaican until I was shopping for some for this recipe! I didn’t order the dish anyway, since I was full from crawfish and alligator bites and probably a bunch of gumbo, but I’m almost positive now that I would have been disappointed. But oh man, how good does Jamaican Jerk Ginger Beer Pulled Pork sound?? I promise, as good as it sounds, it tastes 100 times better.

I use one of my favorite kitchen items, my Dutch oven, for this recipe. I adore being barefoot in the kitchen, enjoying the smells, and checking on things as they’re cooking, so slow cooker set-it-and-forget-it cooking isn’t for me. If the slow cooker is your thing, then by all means, use it! This recipe can be easily adapted to the slow cooker.


This is 100% guy-approved. When we first made this as pulled pork sandwiches, Adrien’s exact words were (and I wrote this down so I would remember) “Oh my god. You could sell these. I’m serious. Put these on your sandwich shop menu. These are SO GOOD.” And the second time I made it and served it over polenta, he said “you could make a living on this.”

Eh? Eh??? Those words are music to my ears. They make me want to make this again and again. Good thing I made enough jerk paste for about 3-4 recipes! Maybe Jamaican jerk wings are in our future.

Oh, and I don’t have a sandwich shop. But I think I’d like to have a sandwich shop. Maybe. Someday.


The recipe for the Jamaican jerk paste comes from AllRecipes.com. Yes, it’s a long list of ingredients. But none are expensive, and you probably have most of these already in your kitchen. And I promise you, it’s 100% worth it. The only thing I changed was to use habaneros instead of the traditional Scotch bonnet peppers. If you can find Scotch bonnets, definitely use those instead. But I’m telling you, don’t sub out a different jerk rub or (heaven forbid) something store bought. This recipe is all. about. the. jerk. paste.


And the ginger beer. That stuff is so awesome! So yeah, maybe we did buy a 4-pack of ginger beer from Whole Foods, use one for this recipe, and make Moscow mules with the rest. Maybe that happened. And maybe it was a great time. Ahh you got me, it was definitely a great time!

It’s worth saying again… Do NOT panic about the long list of ingredients or the fact that this isn’t on the table in under an hour. Most of the prep and cook-time is hands-off anyway.

You have my word. This recipe is worth every minute!

Jamaican Jerk Ginger Beer Pulled Pork

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Jamaican Jerk Ginger Beer Pulled Pork

This Jamaican jerk pork is slow cooked in ginger beer, giving it out-of-this-world flavor. An authentic jerk paste is the magic behind this show stopper! Serve over creamy polenta, as a fun twist on tacos, or on toasted brioche buns for an amazing sandwich!


    For the jerk paste:
  • 1/2 cup ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 habanero peppers, seeded and cored
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 2 bunches green onions (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the pork:
  • 2 1/2 pound pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 12 ounces ginger beer (I prefer Reed's)
  • 1/3 cup Jamaican jerk paste


    For the jerk paste:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.
  2. For the pork:
  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  4. In a large resealable bag, combine the pork and the jerk paste. Close the bag and shake, rub, and massage the paste into the meat until it's completely covered. Marinate at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  5. Heat oil over medium high heat in a Dutch oven. Add the meat and sear 4-5 minutes on both sides. Add the onion when you flip the meat and allow parts of it to brown. Add the ginger beer, scrape up as many of the brown bits as you can from the bottom of the pan, then cover and move to the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours, until you can stick a fork into the meat and twist and it falls apart.
  6. Remove from the oven, transfer the meat to a bowl, and shred with two forks.
  7. Using an immersion blender, puree the onion and remaining liquid in the Dutch oven until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, just transfer the onion and liquid to a regular blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Add the liquid to the pork and stir to combine.

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    • Katy @ TastyLittleCrouton says

      I just tried ginger beer recently, and I am CRAZY about it! I love ginger… how did I not know about this sooner??

  1. Greg says

    How much heat do the habaneros give the pork? I’d like to do this but have smaller kids that might not be able to take the heat. Thanks!

    • Katy @ TastyLittleCrouton says

      Hi Greg, it does add some heat, but it is really more depth of flavor than pure spiciness. The brown sugar balances it out, and the slow cooking also helps to dull the heat a bit. I don’t recommend backing off the habaneros because it may end up more sweet than balanced, but it’s completely up to you. Heads up, it will taste much spicier before it’s cooked, so don’t panic if the raw paste is pretty hot. Cheers!

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