By Minna LaFortune

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 17, 2016: The road to Rio is not only paved with blood , sweat, tears, and Lighting Bolt but with Stew Peas and Rice! In Jamaica, it is the Red kidney peas or beans that are the popular peas. It is usually used for soups, as in “red peas soup;” in Stew Peas and in “rice and peas.”

It is a hearty peas because it adopts to the flavorings of onions, garlic and thyme and really helps to add fiber nutrients and flavor to meals.

One of my favorite Red kidney peas dishes is Stew Peas!  Stew peas is a mixture of red kidney peas cooked with salted pigs tail, salted beef and fresh beef in a thick stew. It is served with white rice.

As a child growing up in Jamaica, it was my favorite dish.  The mixture of the stew peas, meats with the aromatic flavors of garlic, onion, thyme, scotch bonnet and pimento mixed with white  rice  creates a tasty, delicious satisfying taste in the mouth. As we say in Jamaica: ” it good caan done.”

There are several other countries that have similar hearty peas and meat stew and Brazil is one of them.

In Brazil, it is the Black peas that is used and the stew is called feijoada (fay-ZHWA-dah). There are many versions of Feijoada across Brazil. However, it almost always has black beans and a mixture of salted, smoked and fresh meats.

Some versions are a little spicy from the sausages while others are mild. The stew is always eaten with white rice, and maybe some sautéed collard greens.

Who knows? Maybe the Jamaican stew peas and rice may have been imported from Brazil!

The following is the recipe for Jamaican Stew Peas:


1lb Red Kidney Beans

1lb. Fresh Stew Beef

1lb. Salted Beef

1lb salted Pigs tail

Salt to taste

1cup of chopped scallions

4 sprigs Thyme

4 cloves of garlic

6 pimento seeds

1/4 scotch bonnet pepper

4 pints water


Soak the Salted Beef and salted pigs tail separately overnight.

Wash the Red Kidney Peas.

In a 2-quart stock pot, add all meats and beans.

Add  2/3 of all seasonings.

Cook beans and meats until they are tender.

Reduce heat.

Add the balance of the seasonings to the stew and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until meat falls off the bone and the stew is thick.

Serve with white rice.

Bon Appetite!


EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/bestfoodscaribbean/
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