Long stewed, and heavily seasoned braises aren’t what comes to many people’s minds when they think of Caribbean food.
Grilled fish and chicken, lovely fresh shellfish tend to be the first dishes that are recalled when thinking of last year’s vacation.
But these spicy, savoury braised meats are very common all over the Caribbean, in fact you’ll find pigs feet and ox tails as much as you’d expect to find grilled fish.
This dish is spicy – so if you aren’t a fan of heat remove the seeds from the jalapeno or omit it altogether.
These dumplings are on the heavy side, which makes this a great meal to reheat or even to stock your freezer with.
Caribbean stew meat with coconut dumplings
While that big list of garnishes seems like overkill, the freshness really adds balance to the hearty braised meat and dumplings in the stew.
- 1 ½ pound stew meat (bison, moose, caribou, deer, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 4 cups stock or water
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Toasted coconut, to garnish
- Chopped cilantro, to garnish
- Chopped scallions, to garnish
- Lime wedges, to garnish
- Toss together meat, ketchup, sugar, ground cinnamon, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce so that the meat is evenly coated.
- Add oil to a pot and place over medium high heat until shimmering, add meat and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno pepper, green pepper, ginger, garlic, celery, onion and half of the cilantro and continue to cook until the vegetables begin to lose their juices. Add stock or water and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer over medium low heat for 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To make the dumplings mix together flour and a pinch of salt then add the coconut milk and knead until the dough comes together. Bring to stew to a rapid simmer and add all the dumplings. If there isn’t enough liquid in the pot add some more stock or water so that the dumplings are all covered and simmer dumplings 10 minutes. Taste the seasoning and adjust as necessary and serve immediately with all the garnishes at hand so people can top their own plates.
Aromatics for the stew
Chopped and ready for the pot
Let the meat marinade while you prep all the other ingredients
Add everything to the pot and bring to a simmer
Coconut dumpling ingredients
Coconut dumplings being rolled out
Add all the dumplings to the pot, if there isn’t quite enough liquid to cover add more stock to loosen it