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Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail Recipe: A Flavorful Caribbean Delight

Jamaican cuisine is a melting pot of flavors and influences, and the Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail is a perfect example of this rich culinary heritage. This dish combines tender kidney beans, succulent pigtail, and an array of spices to create a hearty, comforting stew. Accompanied by spinners (small dumplings), it’s a meal that’s both satisfying and flavorful. Let’s dive into how this dish is made, its key ingredients, and how to get that perfect thick consistency.


    What is Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail?

    Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail is a traditional Jamaican dish that’s both rich in flavor and history. It typically consists of red kidney beans stewed with salted pigtail, coconut milk, and a blend of aromatic spices and herbs. This stew is often served with rice and spinners, making it a filling and nutritious meal.

    Jamaican Stew Peas Ingredients

    Jamaican Stew Peas Ingredients

    The key to a great Jamaican stew is the quality and combination of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Red Kidney Beans: The base of the stew, kidney beans are soaked and then cooked until tender.
    • Salted Pigtail: Adds a unique flavor and richness to the dish. It’s usually pre-boiled to reduce saltiness.
    • Coconut Milk: Gives the stew its creamy consistency and distinct flavor.
    • Spices and Herbs: Typically includes thyme, scallion, garlic, pimento (allspice), and Scotch bonnet pepper for heat.
    • Spinners (Dumplings): Small, hand-rolled dumplings made from flour and water, added to the stew for extra heartiness.

    Related: Jamaican Cuisine at Top-Rated Restaurants in Bronx, NY! and Jamaican Restaurants in Philadelphia

    Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

    1. Soak the Beans: Soak the kidney beans overnight in water to reduce cooking time.
    2. Prep the Pigtail: Boil the salted pigtail for about 20 minutes to remove excess salt, then drain.
    3. Cook the Beans: In a large pot, add the beans and enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
    4. Add the Pigtail: Once the beans start to soften, add the pre-boiled pigtail to the pot.
    5. Season the Stew: Add your spices and herbs – thyme, scallion, garlic, pimento, and Scotch bonnet pepper. Be careful with the pepper; it’s quite hot.
    6. Pour in Coconut Milk: Add coconut milk for creaminess and a rich flavor.
    7. Make the Spinners: While the stew simmers, make your spinners by combining flour and water to form a dough, then roll into small elongated shapes.
    8. Add the Spinners: Drop the spinners into the stew and let them cook until they float to the top.
    9. Simmer to Perfection: Let the stew simmer until everything is tender and the flavors meld together, typically for about an hour.
    10. Serve and Enjoy: Serve hot with a side of rice or your favorite carbohydrate.

    Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail Calories

    A single serving of Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail is relatively high in calories, primarily due to the pigtail and coconut milk. It’s a hearty dish meant to be filling and is best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

    What is Stew Peas Made Of?

    Stew peas is traditionally made of red kidney beans, salted meat (such as pigtail or beef), coconut milk, and a variety of spices and herbs. It’s a rich, hearty stew that’s full of flavor and depth.

    Famous Jamaican Stew

    Jamaican cuisine boasts several famous stews, but the Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail is undoubtedly one of the most iconic. Its unique combination of flavors and ingredients makes it a standout dish in Caribbean cuisine.

    Thickening Stew Peas

    To thicken Jamaican Stew Peas, you can use a few techniques:

    • Simmering: Allowing the stew to simmer for a longer period helps to naturally reduce and thicken the liquid.
    • Cornstarch Slurry: A mixture of cornstarch and water can be added to the stew to thicken it.
    • Mashing Some Beans: Lightly mashing some of the kidney beans in the stew can also help thicken it without altering the flavor.

    Demonstrative Video: Preparing Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail

    Watch the Recipe in Action!

    For those who prefer a visual and step-by-step approach in the kitchen, I have included a YouTube video that demonstrates the preparation of Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail. In this video, [Coffy’s Kitchen] guides us through the cooking process, from selecting ingredients to the final presentation of the dish. It’s an excellent way to gain a clearer understanding of the ideal texture and consistency, as well as some practical tips to achieve that authentic Jamaican flavor.

    This video will not only enrich your understanding of the recipe but will also provide you with valuable tips and tricks that can only be obtained through direct observation of a Jamaican cooking expert. Enjoy and be inspired to create your own version of this delicious dish!


    Jamaican Stew Peas with Pigtail is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of Jamaican culture and flavors. This hearty, flavorful dish is sure to warm your heart and fill your stomach. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or just craving some comfort food, this stew is sure to satisfy. Enjoy the rich flavors of Jamaica in your home with this beloved recipe!