There are many different stews in Jamaican cuisine, each with its own combinations of ingredients. Jamaican Stew Peas are one of the most popular. It’s a simple, hearty, and inexpensive dish that everyone can make at home, whether you’re Jamaican or not.
What Is Jamaican Stew Peas?
Is a warm and hearty dish enjoyed by many Jamaicans.
It’s typically made with red kidney beans (peas), ground provisions, coconut milk, and a variety of other ingredients depending on who is making it. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike as it’s not only tasty but filling as well.
While many people recognize the name of this dish, the exact origin of this soup isn’t known, but it was likely brought to Jamaica from West Africa during the slave trade when Africans were forced to work on sugarcane plantations.
Since then, the dish has become a staple in the region with many different versions being created over time.
The term “stew” actually refers to cooking the beans in water on top of a low flame for several hours until they are tender. This method of cooking allows all the flavors to be absorbed into the beans and produces a rich flavor that tastes delicious!
Jamaican Stew Peas Recipe
- 2 cups dried kidney beans
- 1/2 lb. pigtails
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/4 tp dried thyme leaves
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil (1 tbsp for sauteing; 1 tbsp for cooking)
Soak peas overnight in cold water and enough salt to cover. Drain peas next morning. Put in a large pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Add pigtails and cook until tender, about 80 minutes.
In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook until onions are transparent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
When pigtails are tender, add scallions and onion mixture to the pot with peas and pigtails. Stir well and simmer another 30 minutes over low heat before serving over white rice and steamed cabbage with callaloo.
What Kind Of Meat To Use For Jamaican Stew Peas?
When it comes to making this Jamaican-style pea, the meat you use is just as important as the peas. Bad meat will completely ruin the experience of eating this delicacy, so you want to make sure you choose wisely.
The most famous Jamaican pea dish is the one that uses braids. The tail is quite fatty pork, when cooked for a long time, it will be sweet and soft. However, if you are wondering about using braids, there are other options that are suitable.
Other cuts of pork that can be used include salted or brined pork belly and ribs, or even ham hocks. Some cooks also use corned beef or salt fish in their stew peas dishes. Use what you like best!
What Are Spinners?
Spinners are a popular Jamaican dish that is also known as dumplings. They are made from flour, water, and salt—no yeast or baking powder is added. The dough is formed into a ball and dropped in the stew peas and left to cook for about one hour.
There are two types of spinners: plain and seasoned. To make seasoned spinners, add spices such as nutmeg, salt, pepper, and herbs to the dough before it is formed into balls.
You can serve spinners on their own with ketchup or mayonnaise as a snack or appetizer (they’re often found in the frozen food sections of grocery stores), or they can be served with rice and peas, brown stew chicken, or oxtail stew.
Adding Spinners To Jamaican Stew Peas
Spinning is an important part of the bean stew experience. When you cook this, the buns are what bring out the authentic Jamaican flavor. Spinners are small dumplings made with flour and water, and they are cooked right in the soup.
They add texture to the meal, and they’re also delicious. They have a kind of chewy texture reminiscent of gnocchi or Italian pasta. If you love stew peas but haven’t tried adding spinners yet, you’re missing out!
You will need:
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup water
Combine the flour and water in a bowl until smooth. Roll into 1-inch balls. Drop into boiling stew peas 10 minutes before serving.
That’s it! Adding a small amount of salt to the mixture is optional, but we don’t recommend it if you plan on adding salt to your stew peas later, as this can result in a salty flavor that overpowers other ingredients in the dish.
What Are Pimento Seeds ?
If you’re not familiar with pimento seeds, they are the seeds of the allspice tree. The tree is indigenous to Jamaica and the Caribbean, where it is used as a spice to season everything from rice to jerk chicken.
The pimento tree, also known as the allspice or pepper tree, is a Jamaican favorite. On the island, you can find the tree in a variety of uses: The sweet-smelling leaves are used in cooking, while the dried berries are ground into a powder which is used as an all-purpose seasoning.
The small fruit of the pimento plant is commonly used in Jamaican cooking. It’s often found dried and whole in stew peas and other dishes.
Dried pimento berries are also used to make Jamaican jerk seasoning, and when combined with salt, pepper, and chile peppers, form the base for many Jamaican spice blends.
Adding Pimento Seeds To Jamaican Stew Peas
The first thing you need to do is pick up some pimento seeds. You can find them at most grocery stores, but if you’re going for authentic flavor, we highly recommend getting them from a Jamaican specialty store.
Adding pimento seeds to your stew peas will not only give the dish a much-needed kick of heat but also bring out the best in the Caribbean herbs and spices you’ve already got.
The result is a stew pea that is still true to its roots, but with one extra element that adds depth and flavor in a way that feels both new and familiar at the same time.
You can add these seeds at the beginning of the cooking process or at the end. Whichever you choose, put them in and cover the pot for about 20 minutes.
This will let the flavors meld together and make sure that your stew tastes like it was prepared by a chef in Jamaica.
Notes And Tips
There are a few important things to remember when making this dish:
- Add some Scotch Bonnet pepper or Habanero pepper to add a kick of spicy flavor. You can also just add more pimento berries to intensify the spice level.
- Be careful not to overcook the peas or they will get mushy and lose their shape.
- It is important to use a large pot for this recipe or the peas will boil over.
- Pigeon peas are available in many grocery stores, but you can also use frozen black-eyed peas.
- The recipe calls for pigtail but you can substitute the pigtail for salted pigtail, beef, or salt beef. If you don’t want to use meat at all, you can use Jamaican smoked herring.
- You may want to add additional water or milk if the stew gets too thick after cooking for a while. Add the additional water or milk gradually in small amounts until it has reached the desired consistency.
What To Serve With Jamaican Stew Peas?
A mound of fluffy white rice is a must-have when serving stew peas. This is traditionally how Jamaican cooks serve their version of this dish as well. Brown rice is also an option, although it’s not as popular in Jamaica.
You can also serve white or brown rice with a few slices of avocado on top, or rice and peas (gungo peas). Rice and peas are a very popular combination to serve alongside many Jamaican dishes, including curry chicken.
Other side dishes that go well with stew peas include boiled plantains, fried plantains, roasted breadfruit, fried dumplings, and boiled yams.
Serving Size: 1 cup (255 g)
|Total Fat||7.9 g|
|Saturated Fat||5.7 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.2 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.8 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||33.3 g|
|Dietary Fiber||3.1 g|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Is Jamaican Stew Peas Good For Your Health?
Stew peas are high in fiber and protein, which are important for regulating digestion. A high fiber diet can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. Fiber also helps you stay full longer, which can be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.
The protein in the pea stew will work to build your muscles and help you feel satisfied between meals.
Protein is also important for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails, so if you’re looking to improve any area of your look, protein-rich foods like this casserole can help.
Ultimately, the spices in this bean stew have been linked to a host of health benefits including better blood flow and digestion as well as improving your mood so you feel happier throughout the day. day!
How To Store Jamaican Stew Peas?
Storing Jamaican stewed peas properly will keep them fresh and ready to use. Stewed pea is a delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. You can store stewed beans in a variety of ways, including in the refrigerator or freezer.
In The Refrigerator
- Make sure they are in an airtight container. This will help keep the food fresh and reduce any risk of contamination.
- Place the airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure it is not too close to any other items that may spoil easily (like raw meat). Also, make sure there aren’t any strong smells nearby (like cheese).
In The Freezer
If you plan on storing your stew peas for more than one day, it is best to freeze them to prevent spoilage.
- Put your prepared Jamaican stew peas in a freezer-safe container and close it tightly with a lid or plastic wrap so no air can escape from inside the container.
- Place the container in the freezer for up to three months before opening it again.
Where Is Stew Peas From?
Stew peas are thought to have originated in Jamaica. It’s a take on a Scottish dish called “stovies,” which is made with potatoes and leftover animal fat.
But the Jamaican version is a bit different—it uses butter instead of fat and adds sugar snap peas. It’s also thought to be closer to the original dish than the Scottish version, which has been modified over time by local tastes.
What Kind Of Peas Do Jamaicans Eat?
There are three kinds of peas that are used as staples in Jamaican cooking: pigeon peas, black-eyed peas, and split peas.
Dried pigeon peas and dried black-eyed peas are sold whole, but dried split peas come split in half and are ready to eat. The red kind of pigeon pea is most commonly found in Jamaican markets. Black-eyed peas can be bought dried or canned.
How Do You Fix Salty Stew Peas?
Salty stew peas are annoying. But don’t panic, because we’ve got a few tips and tricks that can help you fix those salty peas.
- If the peas are too salty by themselves, try adding more water or chicken stock to balance out the saltiness.
- If you have some rice on hand, add a few spoonfuls of uncooked rice to soak up some of that saltiness.
- If you don’t mind the extra saltiness, just eat it! Some people like their food with a little extra kick.
How Many Calories Are In Jamaican Stew Peas?
This one’s a bit of a tricky question. Since stew peas include variable ingredients, the number of calories it contains can vary wildly.
According to our research, a plain version of stew peas made with just the main three ingredients comes in at about 500 calories per serving—about a cup or so.
If you’re adding meat to your stew peas, that’s going to increase the calorie count by another 100-200 calories per serving.
This Jamaican stew peas recipe is a perfect choice for the seasoned home chef and novice alike. The ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find and the entire preparation process takes less than an hour to complete.
What’s more, this hearty and healthy dish is filling enough to feed your family or provide you with leftovers that are suitable for lunch the next day.