Stew peas and Rice is one of Jamaica’s favourite comfort foods. My family loves it, but because I usually have to prep some ingredients overnight it’s not what I would call a quick-fix dinner … until now! I have created a Quick Stew Peas recipe that tastes so good you won’t remember it was only made in an hour. I replace the traditional salted pig’s tail with cooked ham and use canned instead of dry kidney beans. In my traditional Stew Peas recipe you have to soak both of these ingredients in water overnight. Now you don’t have to do that! Instead just put all the ingredients in the pot and simmer … and in 20 minutes it’s ready to eat!
Shopping Tip: I find some brands of canned kidney beans are very firm. For this recipe I recommend using brands with tender beans that breakdown quicker.
Quick Stew Peas & Rice Recipe
½ cup Butter or Margarine
1 small Onion, chopped
2 stalks Escallion (or green onion), chopped
1 Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 lb Cook Ham, skin removed and cubed
1 sprig Fresh Thyme
2 cups Water
2 14-oz cans Kidney Beans
½ tsp West Indian Hot Sauce
½ tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
Spinners (prepare dough and set aside)
1 cup Flour
½ tsp Salt
Instructions: In a bowl mix flour and salt together. Add water a little at a time to form soft dough.
For added flavour, I like to rinse the empty kidney beans cans with water and use that water in the recipe
1: Melt butter or margarine in medium or large saucepan. Add onion, escallion and bell pepper and sautee until transparent
2. Add fresh thyme and cubed ham to pot (optional: remove some salt from ham by soaking in boiling water for 15 minutes; drain)
3. Add water and bring to a boil
4. Add kidney beans to the pot and turn down heat rolling boil
5. Roll small pieces of the dough between your palms to make long spinner dumplings and add to the pot. They will “grow” so small is better. They also help to thicken the stew peas.
6. Remove sprig of thyme, add sugar and turn down heat to simmer – do not fully cover the pot
7. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until stew peas is thickened
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
Serve with steamed white rice, fried plantains and green salad