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Jamaican Stew Peas Recipe
How To Make The Tasty Protein Packed Dish

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by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

If you are looking for a hearty, comforting, warm and delicious meal to put you in a good mood, Jamaican Stew Peas is a meal you really need to try.

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What Is Stew Peas Made Of?

Stew peas is typically made of red peas (kidney beans), a variety of meats, some persons add as many as 5 different types of meat in their stew peas.

Some of the common meats used are salted pigtail, salted or fresh beef, turkey neck, chicken neck, chicken foot and chicken back. Jamaican Stew Peas must also include coconut milk and fresh herbs and spices such as onion, garlic, pimento (allspice), ginger, scotch bonnet pepper, escallion and thyme.

Jamaican Stew Peas Recipe


  • 1 lb Red peas, also known as kidney beans
  • 1 lb chicken foot
  • 1 lb corned pigtail
  • 1 lb corned beef
  • 1 lb white flour
  • Scotch bonnet pepper
  • Dried coconut or a tin of coconut milk
  • Scallion and thyme
  • Onion, garlic, pimento seeds, ginger 
  • All-purpose seasoning of choice


  • Step 1: The first thing you are going to want to do is to wash your red peas and set them to soak overnight, this makes the peas much easier to cook, drastically cuts down the cooking time. 
  • Step 2: Prepare all your meats by washing them in a mixture of water and vinegar. Clean off any extra pieces of fat and ensure you remove the toenails from the chicken feet. Because corned beef and pigtails are extremely high in salt content, boil them in some water for around 10 minutes to remove some of the salt from them. 
  • Step 3: In a large pot, add all your peas that have been soaking, along with the water it was soaking in, and all your meats as well. Also, add a few cloves of garlic and a few pieces of fresh ginger. If necessary add more water to cover the ingredients in the pot. Set the stove on high heat.
  • Step 4: Cook until peas and meats are soft. To do this you may need to add water repeatedly so the liquid doesn’t dry all the way out, so always keep a kettle filled with hot water at ready, never use cold water as it makes the meat tough and takes even a longer time to cook. You also have the option of just putting this in the pressure cooker for around 20 to 30 minutes to get them soft. 
  • Step 5: Make your spinners. Combine your flour with water, kneading it to make a thick dough. Once you have the dough ready, break off small pieces and roll between both palms. They should look like short, thick pens. Once added to the pot, cook for around 10 minutes then move to the next step.
  • Step 6: Add your coconut milk. If you are using canned milk, you would just pour this into the pot. If you have opted for powdered milk, mix it in warm water and pour it into the pot.
    Jamaicans however, prefer to stick to fresh coconut. So grab your dried coconut, crack it open and pour out the water. You can save it to add to a drink or simply chill and drink it as is.
    Once you have your coconut cracked open, break it into small pieces and gently use a knife to remove the flesh of the coconut. You can then choose to grater the flesh of the coconut and water to get the coconut milk out or put it in a blender with some water. Once you have gotten the coconut milk strain it and then just add it to your pot. 
  • Step 7: After adding your coconut milk and it has been cooking for around 8 minutes, it's time to finally season your pot. Add additional garlic and ginger, along with a few sprigs of scallion and thyme, whole scotch bonnet pepper, onion and pimento seeds. Also, add any of your favourite all-purpose seasonings.

Remember, the pigtail and beef already have enough salt content, do not add any salt or anything that contains salt or you run the risk of making the meal too salty. Allow cooking for another 10 minutes or until stew is nice and thick.

Remove the scotch bonnet peppers from the pot first. Serve with a small amount of white or brown rice and a vegetable salad of your choice.

How Do You Fix Salty Stew Peas?

Because the majority of meats used in stew peas have high salt content, it is easy for it to become too salty. But if that happens, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to fix that:

  • Dilute it - the first thing that comes to mind naturally is to dilute the stew. You can simply add more water or coconut milk to the pot.
  • Absorb the salt - starchy foods absorb a lot of salt, so if you have found that your stew is too salty, add pieces of carrots to the mix. This will not only help to absorb the salt but will also give the stew a much thicker consistency.

Jamaican stew peas is most definitely a must-have, now that you know how to make it, feel free to share it with your families and friends too.

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References & Sources For Jamaican Stew Peas

  1. Recipe Stew Peas with a Difference,
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