I saw some pork stew meat on sale yesterday and decided to make some sort of stew that night. I found this Caribbean stew with red beans and pork in my Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition – 2006. I had everything else I needed, including a green pepper I picked from a pepper plant in the garden. I had to dig through my spice cupboard to find a whole cinnamon stick though. Haven’t used those in a while! This came out really good. The recipe says 4-6 servings but it is very hearty with the beans and sweet potato and pork.
Caribbean Red Bean and Pork Stew
Soaking and Cooking the Red Beans
- 1 1/2 cups dried small red beans or pinto beans
- 8 cups water
- 1 onion
- 1 piece of leafy celery top
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 cinnamon stick
Making the Stew
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 pound pork stew meat or pork loin or loin chops cut into 1" cube
- 2 cups cubed and peeled sweet potato
- 1 green bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 1 Tbs chopped garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika or ground red pepper
- If you plan ahead, soak the beans overnight covered in water. If you don't start until mid afternoon, cover the beans with a few inches of water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let the beans soak for an hour with the lid on.
- Drain the soaked beans.
- Cook the beans in the 8 cups of water with the onion, bay leaf, celery top, garlic clove and cinnamon stick until tender, about 1 1/2 hours unless your beans are really old. Reserve 4 cups of the cooking liquid and drain the beans. Discard the vegetables, bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
Making the Stew
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and brown the cubed pork all over.
- Add the sweet potato, onion, green pepper, garlic and salt. Cook until the onions are translucent and soft, about 12-15 minutes.
- Add the paprika and stir in. Then add the cooked beans and the reserved 4 cups of liquid from cooking the beans. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered about an hour, stirring periodically.
I can’t remember how much I paid for the beans but this was less than a pound, so I would say under a dollar. The pork meat was on sale for 50% off, $2.00 a pound. Our local grocery is a bit hit and miss on the meats that are reduced for quick sale but I like to peruse that area when I can.