Caribbean Stew

This recipe has been made by us in one form or another for the last ten years. Its popularity is partly because it is tasty and interesting to cook but also because the blend of peanut and coconut with the spice of the chilli pepper lifts it completely out of the everyday. To obtain the full benefit, turn up the gas fire, put on the Bermuda shorts, sip a glass of rum and get a loved one to hit you on the back of the head with a coconut. What bliss.

Method

  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water, drain, rinse and cover with fresh water in a large pan. Bring to the boil and allow to boil vigorously for ten minutes then simmer until soft. If you forget to soak them don't panic, they will cook but will take at least an hour, possibly longer. You can substitute a large can of red kidney beans in a real emergency!
  2. While the beans cook wash and peel the potatoes, just scrub them if they are organic, dice into roughly one inch pieces and then cook in another pan until they are only just done.
  3. Peel and roughly chop the onion and cook in the sunflower oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Cut the chilli in half lengthways and, unless you like hot food remove the seeds, peel the garlic and blend the it and the chilli together using a little sunflower oil if necessary. If you have not got a blender finely chop the chilli and garlic. In any event add the chilli and garlic to the onions and continue to cook over a moderate heat.
  5. Wash and roughly chop the peppers and, once the onions have cooked to softness, add them to the pan along with the paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir all together and allow to cook slowly.
  6. Meanwhile blend the coconut, peanut butter and orange juice together and then add to the pan. If you have no blender or are overcome with kitchen ennui just add them to the pan separately, they will melt in eventually.
  7. Once the sauce in the pan has got back to the simmer add the Sweetcorn and leave to cook.
  8. Wash the parsley and chop it finely.
  9. When the sweetcorn and other ingredients are cooked add the cooked potatoes, beans. and chopped parsley and stir everything together, adding a little water if necessary. The result should be stew with quite a thick consistency and a hint of chilli. If , upon mature consideration, you decide you want it hotter next time do not de-seed the chilli, or use two, or do both.

Ingredients

8 oz Dried Kidney Beans
1lb Potatoes - Sweet Potatoes if available
1 Red Pepper
1 Green Pepper
4oz Packet Frozen Sweetcorn
3 Cloves Garlic
1 small fresh green or red Chilli
1 large Onion
1 Cup Orange Juice
2oz Packet Creamed Coconut
1 Heaped Tablespoon Peanut Butter
Dash Spanish Paprika
Dash Cayenne Pepper
Handful Fresh Parsley
2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper