JAMAICAN STEW PEAS
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the pictures from my incredible trip to Trinidad. I spent 7 glorious days in Trinidad visiting one of my older brothers and tasting my way through the country. I will share my adventure in more details soon but for now I’m sharing a recipe which is not from Trinidad but was inspired by my travels. Being in Trinidad has renewed my passion for West Indian cuisine and has inspired me to return to blogging. I’ve been lacking inspiration lately and it has reflected on my blog. Tasting the fresh food in Trinidad has reconnected me with flavors that I’d long forgotten. I returned home and hit the ground running, I’ve been in the kitchen cooking and experimenting ever since.
First up we have Jamaican Stew Peas, which is a stewed red beans, often flavored with meat and coconut milk. I was taught to make this dish by my Jamaican father-in-law who is an excellent cook! While he does it the old fashioned way by patiently slow cooking, I usually use my pressure cooker to speed up the process; different technique but the results are the same. I will say that his tastes a little better, but he does have a hometown advantage. I use salted pigtails and beef, but you can substitute salt beef if you are a fan of pork.
Jamaican Stew Peas
1 lb beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 salted pigtails, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup red beans
1 tbsp green seasoning
1 medium onion, diced
12 sprigs thyme
2 scallion, finely chopped
10 whole pimentos
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ of scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed
½ tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
Place beans in a small bowl then pour enough water to cover. Allow to soak overnight. Place beef in a small bowl and add green seasoning to coat, set aside.
Place pigtail into a small pot and cover with water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Add oil to a large pot or pressure cooker. When oil is hot, add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until it’s softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds while stirring. Add beef and cook for 10 minutes until it’s browned. Next add pigtail, thyme and red beans plus the water that it’s been soaking in. You may need to add more water at the point. Make sure there’s enough water to cover all the ingredients in the pot. Cook until the beef and peas are tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. If using a pressure, cook on high after the pressure starts to whistle for 12 minutes.
Make the spinners and set aside. When the peas and beef are tender, add coconut milk, pimento, scotch bonnet and salt(to taste) then cook for an additional 20 minutes. Add spinners and then cover the pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes then turn off the heat. Stir in chopped scallion and serve warm over rice.
To make the Spinners:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup water
Mix to form a stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough then roll between your palms to form an elongated spinner.