Caribbean Pork Stew

Do you ever just want to do something completely different in the kitchen? Something that will stretch your and your family’s tastebuds beyond their comfort zone? Well, I do. And I’ve got to tell, it turns out to be a really good thing for the most part. (The flops are on the never-to-be-mentioned again list.)

This dinner definitely falls into that really good thing category. I’ve used plantains several times in the past but it’s been quite a few years. In fact, it’s been long enough that none of the kids remember trying one in the past. So it was an adventure for them, and one that they willingly embarked on. In fact, two of the four kids even went back for seconds.

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Caribbean Pork Stew

  • 1 T. oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. pork, cubed ( I used boneless, top loin chops)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. freshly grated ginger (optional, although it does add a nice kick)
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1/4 t. allspice
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 c. beef stock
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 c. fully-cooked black beans (or 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 plantains, peeled and cubed
  • 3 c. cooked rice

1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add pork and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Remove pork with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add onions, peppers and garlic to pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add ginger, cumin, allspice and crushed for red pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Add stock, water and diced tomatoes. Return pork to pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Let simmer about 45 minutes, until pork is tender.

3. Add beans and plantains. Cook an additional 15 minutes, at least. The longer you let this simmer, covered and over low heat, the stronger the flavors will become.

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Plantain tips:

If you’ve never used a plantain before, you might be surprised to realize that it doesn’t peel easily like a banana. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to peel a plantain with the traditional method. What I’ve found to work best is to cut the unpeeled plantain into slices.

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Then, I cut a slit in each individual slice and the peel peels right off.

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There might be easier ways out there, but this is what seems to work best for me.

What do you do to mix things up in the kitchen? Do you ever try “exotic” ingredients? I’d love to hear your stories.

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6 thoughts on “Caribbean Pork Stew

  1. Ok, I was going in order visiting everyone who linked up when I saw your recipe title and I jumped right over. I LOVE stuff like this. I am putting this on my list! And yes, I definitely am always trying new things in the kitchen. Like to spice things up a bit from time to time so I am not bored.

  2. Are you supposed to use fully-ripened plaintains or green ones? I wasn’t sure from the recipe. I think we would love this, so I want to give it a try. I would love for you to join me for Crock Pot Wednesday this week. Mister Linky is up and ready for you to enter a favorite slow cooker recipe. There’s a little giveaway going on.

  3. Can you describe the taste of plantains? What do you look for in buying them? For some reason, this recipe sound good with sweet potatoes mixed in. Do you think that would work? Thanks for sharing the recipe and for any help you could give me. Donna

  4. I might try this one today. Can’t wait.
    Haven’t cooked with plantains in a long while, but I used to:
    — cut of the tips,
    — score (through the peel) lengthwise along the plantain about 3 or 4 times.
    — Peel it like a banana. (You have to give it a tug.)
    — Use a knife to clean up the parts of the peel that didn’t come off cleanly.

    It works with both green and black plantains.

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