I am really into jackfruit lately (thanks, cousin!). For Pascha this year my main dish was pulled jackfruit in a brown sugar bourbon marinade, and the recipe was actually inspired by a conversation I overheard during Holy Week, in which a visiting priest schooled a young parishioner in the ways of preparing pork. At first they were discussing using pop as a marinade, but when the idea of bourbon came up, that’s when things clicked for me. I am always looking for ways to add booze to my meals. So.
I drained two cans of jackfruit and squeezed the liquid out. At least in the case of the brand I was using, the brine didn’t have a very strong flavor and so the jackfruit did not need to be rinsed. After squeezing, I pulled the chunks apart as shown.
It’s Pascha, so I brought out the good stuff: Maker’s 46. According to some website that knows about these things, “Deep amber color; rich buttery cashew toffee, French toast, mocha and chocolate covered peach aromas; medium-full body; spicy, toasted grain, nut, pepper finish.”
Add 2 Tbsp olive oil. To give it a little depth, I added about 2 or 3 Tbsp of carob molasses – if you can’t find this delicious stuff, it’s okay to use regular molasses. Add to taste. And, not shown, I also added about 1/4 C maraschino cherry juice – if that bright red sugary stuff can be called juice.
Next, season with salt, black pepper, and a couple minced cloves of garlic. Again, season to taste. Stir it up and let it marinate for at least 2 hours, stirring once halfway through because the liquid will settle.
Now, had I been thinking clearly I would have baked this spread out in a large baking dish. Instead I used a casserole dish, mostly because it’s vintage and I love how it looks. This meant it took about an hour to bake at 425 (in a convection oven), and I had to turn the jackfruit several times to make sure all of it got browned and crispy, otherwise it wouldn’t get that nice, meaty texture. If your jackfruit is spread out in a thin layer, you can probably bake it for about 45 minutes and only turn it once.
What’s your favorite way to use jackfruit?