If you want to mention delicious Jamaican cuisines, the Jamaican stew peas would undoubtedly make it to the list. Typically, it is prepared with pig’s tail, but other varieties of meat such as beef, chicken, turkey wings, and even oxtails can be used instead.
Oxtail, on its own, is used in the preparation of several other dishes. Although it isn’t as common to prepare stew peas, it certainly makes an excellent choice of meat to use for this purpose. Combined with the delicious stew peas, it makes quite the delicacy and is a must-eat for anyone looking to enjoy a rich, flavored Jamaican dish.
The stew peas used are red kidney beans, but they’re called peas since Jamaicans typically refer to this type of beans as Peas. Although stew peas can be cooked from scratch, this would take up too much time, so canned beans are mainly used instead.
Before making the stew peas, the oxtails to be used have to be properly seasoned and prepared, as this would add to the dish’s overall flavor. We’ll be looking at all the ingredients needed for the preparation of Jamaican stew peas with oxtails will be mentioned below.
Jamaican Stew Peas with Oxtails
Ingredients for Oxtails
- 2.2 lbs Oxtails
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 bulb Onion Onion Powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp Allspice
Ingredients for Stew Peas
- 2 cups Kidney Beans Canned (Optional)
- 1 mid-sized Onion
- 2 stalks Scallion
- 3 sprigs Thyme Chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 count Green Bell Pepper Chopped
- 2 tbsp Allspice
- 2 cans Coconut Milk
- 1 count Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Salt
Seasoning of the Oxtails
- To season it, mix the spices and ingredients (except the oil) into the oxtails and allow it to marinate for a couple of hours. For an even better flavor, it can be prepared and allowed to marinate overnight.
- After marination, pour into a pan and regulate the heat. Put your oxtails into the pan and frequently stir till all the sides have browned.
- Pour about 2 cups of water into the pan and cook. This can be done with a pressure cooker for faster cooking. It will take about 35 to 40 minutes in a pressure cooker but longer otherwise. The aim is to make the oxtails tender enough to be used.
- Once the oxtails are tender, allow them to come to a boil and transfer them into a bigger pot for cooking the stew peas.
Thickeners for Stew Peas
Stew peas are thickened with dumplings, typically called spinners. Spinners are made thinner than regular dumplings and are a must for preparing stew peas. They are effortless to make. The following ingredients are used:
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup of water
Preparation of Stew Peas
- Add about 3 cups of water to the oxtails in the pot.
- Add your canned beans, onions, scallions, thyme, chopped bell pepper, garlic, allspice, coconut milk, and salt. The coconut milk adds a sweet, creamy flavor and helps in thickening. Allow it to boil after these things have been added.
- You’ll need to prepare your dumplings to add to the pot in a separate bowl. Add the flour and salt and a little water to whisk it.
- Keep adding a small quantity of water till you can knead it into a dough.
- Break the dough up into smaller pieces and roll it between your palms to form a spinner that you’ll add to the pot.
- When the mixture in the pot comes to a boil, add your dumplings and stir it periodically while it thickens. This is to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add your whole scotch bonnet pepper and black pepper but be careful while stirring, so the scotch bonnet pepper doesn’t scatter. The aim is to extract the flavor and not make the stew peas spicy.
- Allow it to cook on medium to low heat for about 30 minutes until you get the consistency. Remember to taste for salt, too.
- Before serving, remove your whole Scotch bonnet pepper. Your delicious stew peas are ready to be eaten.
Can I use Dried Kidney Beans Instead of the Canned Ones?
Yes, some people might prefer to use dried kidneys to prepare stew peas. However, it isn’t just poured directly into the pot like that.
Usually, it is washed and soaked overnight before being used. Alternatively, the dried beans are washed and put in a separate pot and allowed to boil for about an hour until it is tender enough to use.
Please do not use a slow cooker for cooking them from scratch when using uncooked kidney beans. It is known to contain a potentially harmful toxin that would not be eradicated with slow cooking. Use canned beans instead, or cook the kidney beans first before using them in a slow cooker.
Oxtails present in stew peas provide a variety of nutrients such as proteins, iron, and selenium. They also have high-calorie content as they contain significant amounts of fat.
Beans as a whole are known to be nutrient-rich and also serve as a good source of calories. They are also a rich source of fiber which is essential in our diet.
Altogether, the various assortment of meat, beans, and vegetables used to prepare Jamaican stew peas makes it an excellent meal, not just for your taste buds but for your overall health.
How are Jamaican Stew Peas Served?
It is often served with white rice to go with it.
How To Store Your Stew Peas
This meal can either be refrigerated or frozen for later use. If it’s to be stored in a fridge, put it in an airtight container where it can be left for up to 6 days. It can last for more than a month if frozen, but it must also be kept in an airtight container.