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.
I was a bit hesitant about the cinnamon, having just used it in a ground beef chili that I was NOT crazy about. But it sounded good with the beans and it was! Leftovers have been good for lunch as well.
That recipe sounds delicious. Love the cinnamon in the beans.