Jamaican cuisine is known for its bold and flavorful dishes, and one of the most beloved is Jamaican stew peas. This hearty and comforting dish is a staple in Jamaican households and is often served on Sundays or special occasions. While there are many variations of stew peas, one of the most popular and delicious versions is made with pigtail. In this article, we will explore the best and easiest Jamaican stew peas recipe using pigtail.
To make this mouthwatering stew, you will need the following ingredients:
– 1 pound of pigtail, cut into small pieces
– 2 cups of dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 sprigs of thyme
– 2 scallions, chopped
– 1 scotch bonnet pepper, whole
– 2 cups of coconut milk
– 4 cups of water
– 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
Here is a step-by-step guide to making the best Jamaican stew peas with pigtail:
1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the pigtail pieces and cook until browned and crispy.
2. Remove the pigtail from the pot and set aside. In the same pot, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, thyme, and scallions. Sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
3. Drain the soaked kidney beans and add them to the pot. Stir well to combine with the onion mixture.
4. Add the coconut milk, water, and scotch bonnet pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the beans are tender.
5. Once the beans are tender, return the pigtail to the pot. Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Continue simmering the stew for another 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
7. Serve the stew peas hot with steamed rice or Jamaican hard dough bread for a truly authentic experience.
Now, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions about Jamaican stew peas with pigtail:
1. Can I use a different type of meat instead of pigtail?
Yes, you can substitute pigtail with other meats like salted beef or smoked turkey for a healthier option.
2. Can I use canned kidney beans instead of dried beans?
While dried beans provide a richer flavor, you can use canned kidney beans if you’re short on time. Just make sure to drain and rinse them before adding to the pot.
3. Is scotch bonnet pepper essential for the recipe?
Scotch bonnet pepper adds a distinct spicy kick to the stew, but if you can’t handle the heat, you can substitute it with a milder pepper like jalapeno.
4. How long does it take to soak the kidney beans?
It’s best to soak the kidney beans overnight to ensure they cook evenly and become tender.
5. Can I freeze the leftover stew peas?
Yes, Jamaican stew peas with pigtail freezes well. Just let it cool completely, transfer it to an airtight container, and freeze for up to three months.
6. What side dishes pair well with stew peas?
Jamaican rice and peas, steamed vegetables, or fried plantains are excellent accompaniments to this dish.
7. Can I make this stew peas recipe vegetarian?
Absolutely! Just omit the pigtail and use vegetable broth instead of water for a delicious vegetarian version.
In conclusion, Jamaican stew peas with pigtail is a mouthwatering and comforting dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its rich flavors and hearty ingredients, it’s no wonder this dish is a favorite among Jamaicans and food enthusiasts worldwide. So why not give this easy recipe a try and experience the taste of Jamaica in your own kitchen?