Jamaican Stew Peas

Photo by Noel Cunningham

Issue 2, 2017 JamaicanEats magazine

  • 1 lb. red kidney beans
  • 1/2 lb. salted beef
  • 1 lb. meat — pig’s tail, salted beef, oxtail, ham hocks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks escallion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded, finely sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 3 pints (6 cups) chicken stock
  • 4 ozs. creamed coconut
  • Spinners (dumpling...recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cover the beans in cold water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a medium pot, boil and drain the salted beef twice.
  3. Sautee the onion, escallion, garlic, green pepper, thyme and bay leaves in a large pot over a moderate heat for about 5 mins. until soft. Add the cooked kidney beans, meat, Scotch bonnet pepper, stock and creamed coconut. Stir well to combine the ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally until the beans are soft and tender. (Be careful not to split the Scotch bonnet as the seeds are extremely hot.)
  5. About 15 mins. before the stew is ready, gently drop the spinners into the pot. (Add more water or coconut milk if it’s too thick.)
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot over fluffy white rice.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Enough water to form a dough
  2. While the stew is simmering, make the spinners by combining water, flour and salt to make a dough.
  3. Knead for about a minute.
  4. Roll pieces of the dough between your palms into 1-inch long sausage shape.
  5. Set aside


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