This is a great, tasty and filling stew, from ‘Original Flava‘ by Craig and Shaun McAnuff. It is also vegan, and very tasty. We used tinned beans and tinned tomatoes, but you could use dried beans and fresh tomatoes. As usual, we had to substitute a few things to dried versions; you could use whole allspice berries, fresh thyme, or a scotch bonnet pepper, but these are not readily available.
The spinners are like long dumplings, but they should be very dense and quite chewy. There is more information about them here: https://www.thespruceeats.com/jamaican-spinners-recipe-2138153
- 2 cans of red kidney beans, or 500g dried beans soaked overnight
- 250ml water if using dried beans
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 2 heaped tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 1 level tsp salt
- 1 to 3 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2 large waxy potatoes cut into 2cm cubes
- 400g butternut squash or sweet potato, or a mix of the two, peeled, deseeded and diced into 2cm chunks
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced into 2cm chunks
- 1 can of tomatoes, or 4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp scotch bonnet paste
- For the spinners: 250g plain flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 100ml water
- Soak the beans overnight if you are using dried beans. Drain and rinse the soaked beans and put in the pan with 250ml water, and bring to the boil.
- Add garlic, thyme, allspice, spring onions, salt, black pepper and coconut milk. If you are using tinned beans, use this as the base along with the water that is in the tins, rinse out with a little fresh water to get all of the flavour in. If using fresh beans you’ll need to simmer together for 30 minutes. Tinned beans won’t take so long.
- Once the beans are hot and tender, add a little more water if required, along with the potatoes, carrots, squash, tomatoes and scotch bonnet paste. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.
- While all of the simmering is going on, start making the spinners. Mix together the salt, flour and water, and make into a stiff dough, kneed this and let it sit for about 15 minutes, before rolling out to make spinners the shape of a pointy sausage, about the size of your little finger.
- The beans should be soft. Add a little water if needed, and put the spinners into the stew. Don’t worry too much about stirring them in; they are quite heavy and will tend to sink. Simmer for a further 15 minutes.
This is quite carb heavy, so we ate it on its own, but it is usually served with rice. It is good with a side dish of a green vegetable such as broccoli.
This is a West Indian recipe, adapted from ‘Original Flava‘ to suit my taste and the ingredients in the garden. It is very easy, and can be cooked on a barbeque, but it is terribly midgy just now, so we skipped that bit.
- 500g scallops, cut into quarters
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 5 large spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp scotch bonnet paste (very spicy, use less if you wish)
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 250g carrots, grated
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- Put all of the ingredients into a container with a lid, and put the container in the fridge for at least four hours
- Take a roll of tin foil, and tear off two pieces large enough to make a parcel with half of the mixture each. Spread the mixture onto the tin foil, and fold it over, crimping the edges to make the parcels air tight. Put the parcels onto a baking sheet.
- Heat the oven to 180C, and put the parcels into the oven, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the contents are hot.
- Serve with wedges of lime or lemon.
I’m sure you could use other vegetables as well, such as celeriac, or bulb fennel.
This is a recipe from ‘Original Flava’ – an excellent starter for West Indian cookery. I didn’t follow the recipe in the book (do I ever) but it reflects my own tastes and also what is available in the garden. I am looking out recipes to use up the last of the maincrop potatoes for last year, and this one fit the bill well. Also, who knew that adding creamed coconut or coconut milk to mashed potato was so good.
Remember to start the night before, and then allow a couple of hours cooking time on the day of eating.
- 1.2kg mutton, boned and diced
- 1 tbsp West Indian curry powder (from seasoned pioneers)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- salt and pepper (approx 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste)
- vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 200ml coconut milk
- 125ml water
- 1/2 tsp scotch bonnet pepper paste, or to taste
- 2 carrots or 1 turnip, diced.
- 6+ large maincrop potatoes, such as Maris Piper or Arran Victory, peeled and roughly chopped
- 125ml coconut milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- A pinch of thyme leaves
- Put the mutton in a plastic container with the curry powder, dried thyme, ginger, allspice, salt and pepper, and leave in the fridge overnight.
- In a large cooking pot, heat the oil and then gently fry the onion and garlic until they are soft
- Add the spiced mutton, and fry until browned.
- Add the 200m coconut milk, water, scotch bonnet and chopped carrots/turnip and mix. Cook on a low heat for a couple of hours until the meat is very tender. Adjust seasoning if required.
- Preheat the oven to 180C – Gas 4
- Steam the potatoes for around 15 minutes, until soft and cooked through
- Mash the potatoes with 125ml coconut milk, butter, salt and pepper, and a pinch of thyme leaves. (The original recipe includes chilli flakes, but I think it is better to have the potato as a contrast, not so spicy)
- Put the stewed mutton in a casserole dish or deep pie dish, top with the mashed potato, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the mashed potato is beginning to brown.
I served this with sprouts. It would also be good with a spinach side dish.