Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jamaican Stew Peas & Rice

Every Jamaican knows what Stew Peas is and if you ask 10 of them, you’ll probably get 12 different variations to making it.

Stew Peas and Rice is an all time favorite staple in Jamaica. This dish is made with the same ingredients as Red Peas Soup. Actually, the only difference between the two is the thickness.

My granddad used to make this quiet often, its cost effective on a weekly budget, its tasti and everyone leaves full, so hands down, this is one of my easiest and has become one of my favorite dishes all around, maybe because it’s a lazy pot where everything goes in, wait a few and Viola, you have an exceptional dish that everyone will love.

A few weeks back I made a visit to one of my aunts, we stopped at one of her favorite Jamaican spots to pick up lunch, of course they had on the menu stew peas $12.99. Now I'm thinking at $12.99 for stew peas I could feed an entire village. I opted for the chicken, she chose the stew peas. After tasting it, I realize why she pays that much for something so simple, it brought me back, wayyy back.

So I came home and made stew peas, a small tribute to aunt for reminding me of a simpler time in my life, and even though I love to cook, I don’t like to spend 2-3 hours making anything, so for this dish, I used my wonderful pressure cooker and in no time, I was serving up a bowl of my delicious stew peas.

1 lb Red Kidney Beans
1 lb  Stew Beef
½ lb Salted Beef
1 lb pig tail or smoked ham hocks (optional)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (whole/optional)
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon adobo seasoning
½ tbsp black pepper
2 stalk Scallions
2 sprig Thyme
Pressure cooker

Spinners (dumplings)
1 cup of flour
1 tsp salt
Enough water to bind

  • Directions for Spinners:
  • In a bowl, Place flour and salt and mix in a little water at a time.
  • Knead flour into a stiff dough, adding water as necessary
  • Pinch dough into small pieces, about 2” in diameter.
  • Place in the palm of your hands and rub together as if trying to stay warm or as if you are making spaghetti   (they don’t have to be perfect)
  • When done, they should be thin on the ends and thick in the middle and about 2” long
  • Repeat the process until all the unrolled dough is gone
  • Add all the spinners to the pot, the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Thickening the Stew:
3 tbsp of flour
¼ cup of water
In a small bowl, mix flour and water together
Gradually strain mixture into stew, stirring to make sure its to your thickness,
Lower heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

This is usually served with white rice.

(pigs tail, salt beef and stew beef ) 
Because the salt beef is so salty and is required to be soaked overnight, I put it in the pressure cooker with 3 cups of water
and let it cook for 15 minutes, letting the cooker come to a full boil.  I then removed it, drained the water and returned it back to the pot.
First I washed the beans, and discarded the ones that float to the top of the water (an indication it’s no good)

While everything is cooking, I made spinners (dumplings)

When we you are ready to get some cooking done.
Add all meat and beans into the pressure cooker; add thyme and seasoning, cover with enough water. Water should be about 4 inches above everything in the pot. Cover and let cook about 30-40 minutes or until tender
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  1. Hi Lisa,
    Do you think I can use left over ham instead of the pig's tail?


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