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Jamaican Beef Stew Recipe

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Jamaican Stew Beef | (Photo Credit: original flava)Jamaican Beef Stew | (Photo Credit: original flava)

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

When you think about stew, aren't you transported to a cold winter day, cosying up under a blanket. Well, this hearty Jamaican beef stew will certainly warm you from the inside out. Although we don’t have winter here, it does the trick on rainy days.


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The Jamaican beef stew is another of our favourite brown stew dishes. If you are familiar with brown stew dishes you will know that brown stews are the perfect blend of sweet, spicy and savoury and the thick juicy gravy will have you tempted to sip it as if it were a soup.

It doesn’t matter the protein chosen, whether fish, chicken, pork or beef, the brown stew is definitely a favourite for many.

It is a standard Jamaican dish that you will often find on the menu of both fine dining restaurants and the more casual ones as well.

In Jamaica, it is normal to add some form of starchy “food” to beef stews. For most people, it is usually a combination of Irish potatoes and carrots. Others may choose to use broad beans and some may even add a few “spinners” (tiny dumplings).

These help to thicken the sauce (gravy) so you don’t have to worry about using any cornstarch or other thickening agents.

Jamaican Beef Stew Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds beef- cut into bite-size pieces
  • large sweet pepper- chopped
  • large onion - chopped
  • scotch bonnet pepper- chopped
  • large Irish potato- peeled and cut into cubes
  • Scallion and thyme
  • Garlic- minced
  • Large carrot- chopped
  • All-purpose seasoning
  • Meat seasoning
  • Ginger- chopped
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Broad bean or butter bean - optional
  • Hot water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • Browning 
  • Pimento seeds- crushed or whole

PROCEDURE

  1. The first step of course is to prep your meat by washing it thoroughly with lime, vinegar, lemon or salt. Add all your seasonings, and be very careful with the browning, only adding a few drops at a time until you get it to a colour that you like (not too dark). Set aside to marinate for a few hours.

  2. Grab your Dutch pot, a regular pot will do if you don't have one though. Add some oil to the pot. This step can totally be skipped if you used browning while seasoning your beef by the way. Add about a tablespoon of sugar to the oil and wait for it to caramelise. This will add colour and flavour to your beef.

  3. Of course, alternatively, you can choose to use a pressure cooker instead, which will significantly reduce the amount of time spent cooking.

  4. Add the beef to the pot and stir. Fill the Dutch pot with hot water and cover. Leaving the beef to cook. You should know that some beef cuts are more “tough” than others and you might need to repeat adding water to the pot multiple times before the beef is cooked.

  5. Once the beef is soft and tender, add the carrots, and Irish potatoes to the pot. At this point, you can also add additional seasonings. Add more scallion and thyme, sweet pepper and all-purpose seasoning if you desire. If you are choosing to use broad beans or to add spinners, you would also add them at this time.

  6. Once all the ingredients you last added are cooked, your stew will be ready. Don’t be afraid to test your stew before you turn the fire off and make any adjustments you need to.

Jamaican stew beef is most commonly had with plain white rice or the Jamaican favourite rice and peas.

Common sides to this dish include mixed raw vegetable salad, ripe fried plantains or pasta salad or steamed veggies. 

Tips For Making Jamaican Beef Stew

  • Never add cold water to your meat. Always have a kettle of warm water nearby.

  • Beef sometimes carries a very strong smell, washing with lime, lemon, vinegar, salt or even a combination of any of these will help to significantly cut down the smell.

  • Grab your cutting board ( or a clean countertop will do). Cut your meat into the same size, or as close as you can get. This will ensure that everything is cooked evenly.

This is a comfort dish that is quite easy to make so give it a try and don’t hesitate to share it with your family and friends.

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References & Sources For Jamaican Beef Stew

  1. Jamaican-Style Beef Stew Recipe: How to Make It, https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/jamaican-style-beef-stew/
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