My all-time favorite Caribbean dish would be Jamaican Stew Peas. This was never made often in my house but when it was made it was damn near a holiday day! Let’s call this day Stew Day, lol.  It is an essential and authentic Jamaican recipe that should be part of any Caribbean food-lovers gourmet repertoire.

Equivalent to the New Orleans Jumbo or Jambalaya — its filled with different proteins from beef to pork. Now for you non-pork eaters, you can sub the pork for smoked turkey. But in my opinion real stews are made with pigtail.

Are you ready to enjoy this Jamaican delicacy?

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 1 hour and 45 minutes

Total Time 2 hours and 15 minutes

Serving 10 to 15 people based on your serving style

4 Salted Pig Tails, to be soaked overnight (cut in 2-inch pieces)
1 cup  Dry Kidney Beans, to be soaked overnight
1 pound of oxtail
1 pound  Stewing Beef, cut in cubes
1 Tablespoon Butter (or Margarine)
1 Onion, chopped
2  Tablespoons Red and Green Bell Peppers, finely chopped
2-3 slices Scotch Bonnet Pepper
2 Scallion or Green Onion (white parts only)
2-3 sprigs Fresh Thyme (or 1 tsp Dried Thyme)
Black Pepper as per taste
Garlic salt per taste
Onion powder taste
Cayenne pepper taste
Ginger powder taste
Beef Bouillon
1 teaspoon Pimento seeds (optional)
Spinners (spindle-shaped long dumplings)
3/4 cup Flour
Pinch of Salt


  1. Drain the pigtails and place them in a pot.
  2. Fill the pot with some cold and fresh water and put it to boil for 4-5 minutes. Once done, drain the water and fill it again with some more fresh and cold water (around 6 cups) and boil it again.
  3. Once it comes to a boil, put the red beans (without draining them) oxtail and the stewing beef in it.
  4. Cook it covered for an hour or so till the meat is cooked (keep on adding water occasionally)
  5. While this happens, place a pan over medium flame and melt some butter in it. Add the onions and sauté them till they turn transparent. Add in scallions and peppers and sauté them too.
  6. Add two cubes of beef bouillon
  7. Transfer the contents of the pan to the pot along with the remaining scallions, thyme, some pimento and bonnet peppers.
  8. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper, as and other seasonings per taste and continue to stir for few minutes.
  9. Remove the bonnet peppers from the pot when desired.
  10. Prepare spinners (spindle-shaped small dumplings) from the dough and add them to the pot. Continue to cook it covered till the spinners are well cooked and the stew has reached the desired thickness.
  11. Just before serving, remove the un-chopped scallions, thyme sprigs and pimento (if used).
  12. Serve it hot with fried plantain white rice or a dish of your choice.