Grenada’s Oil Down would be great for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving (a family celebration in the US) is a time when families and friends gather and eat lots of food.  Why not  share some good Grenadian memories with some Oil Down?

The dish itself is beloved comfort food. It’s made from a combination of breadfruit, coconut milk, saffron, dumplings, callaloo, and a salted fish or meat like codfish, smoked herring, salted beef, or pig’s tail.

All the ingredients are cooked together in one big pot over an open flame (as pictured below), with the key ingredient being the flavorful oil that is released from the coconut milk as it simmers, thereby, inspiring the name.

Grenada's Oil Down would be great for Thanksgiving

Preparing oil down bring on the feeling of a communal gathering. The party is an all-day affair drawing together entire neighborhoods (often to the beach) to prepare the meal. Everyone pitches in to help; peeling, cutting and seasoning meat and provisions, tending to the fire, mixing drinks – all have a role to play. Once all the ingredients are in the pot, though, the party really begins.

Oil Down usually cooks for a few hours, leaving ample time to take some rum, catch-up on old talk, and just kick back.

Ingredients

1 large full breadfruit
1 whole hot green pepper
2 blades chive
1 sprig thyme, parsley, celery
1/2 to 1 ounce saffron, or
2 tablespoons curry powder
8 ounces salted meat (pig’s tail or snout)
5 to 6 cups coconut milk
salt to taste

Directions

Soak salt meat to remove some of the salt.
Cut breadfruit in half.
Divide each half into two or three sections.
Peel and core, then wash thoroughly.
Place meat in a pot and arrange breadfruit over meat.
Add seasoning and coconut milk.
Cover and bring to a boil.

Add saffron or curry powder and cook until meat and breadfruit are tender, the liquid is absorbed, and oil is seen around the breadfruit. Oil Down can be served plain, with a salad, or with ochro slush. Dumplings, plantains, callaloo leaves, or various other vegetables may be added as well.

How do you make your oil down?

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