This red bean stew is a comforting, sweet, spicy stew using smoked turkey leg, homemade dumplings, chunky white yam, sweet potatoes, and beans in a Jamaican-inspired curry base sauce.
I just wanted to make a hearty, spicy bean stew and came across Jamaican red peas soup. I found two recipes to help make this dish, one close to the traditional recipe from Gimme Yummy and another with a vegan twist, Healthier Steps. Also, found a recipe for the cock soup mix mentioned in the GimmeYummy version instead of the packaged version.
If you make the cock soup mix from scratch, I suggest making it beforehand. For my version, I skipped the pumpkin powder, brown rice flour, spaghetti, and cornmeal; some items were not on hand. I also wanted to use Bob's Red Hill Sorghum Flour, a stone-ground whole-grain flour, as the thickener for the red bean stew. And I will use Trader Joe's Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour for the dumplings. I found a smoked turkey leg when I was looking for smoked meat.
First, make the dumplings by mixing flour, salt, and water. Next, sweat onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, thyme, garlic with turmeric, parsley, smoked paprika powder, onion powder, habanero flakes, allspice, garlic powder, chili powder, and celery. Then add the coconut milk, chicken broth, smoked turkey, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, and yam. Next, add the prepped dumplings. Then simmer and finish with a slurry made of sorghum flour and water.
See the red bean stew recipe card for quantities.
The onions, carrots, and celery are cut evenly to cook evenly. I did the same for the sweet potato and white yam. Make sure you have everything prepared before you start cooking.
Be sure to remove the thin bones in the meat, it's an annoying process, but you'll be glad you did!
This is how it looks after the spices bloomed with added coconut milk, which is the base for making curries for the red bean stew.
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with cooking tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. In addition, some related detailed steps can be found there.
- Canned Beans - If you want, you can use dried kidney beans, but since I like to make quick meals, using canned kidney beans was the best option.
- All-Purpose Flour Alternative - I used Trader Joe's Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. Another option is Healthier Step's version, which uses Krusteaz's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour.
- Habanero Pepper Flakes - Red pepper chili flakes.
- Sorghum Flour - All-purpose flour or cornstarch
Change Heat Level - Modify the recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Bacon - Use smoked uncured pork or turkey, just thinly sliced.
- Smoked Ham - It's a great way to take advantage of leftover ham, especially during the fall.
- Smoked Neck Bones - Try adding smoked beef, pork, or turkey neck bones for flavor instead of the smoked turkey leg chunks.
- Soup Pot / Dutch Oven - For this red bean stew recipe, it's essential to use a well-insulated Dutch oven to prevent food from sticking to the bottom. But if you do not have one, keep an eye, and stir more frequently.
- I recently purchased the Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, and it's been a great experience. It retains heat very well, is clean, and still looks brand new; it's now my favorite pot to make soup and stews. Plus, it can go in the oven. I'm so excited. I can't wait to braise in it!
- Mixing bowls - Used in the recipe to make the dumplings and slurry.
- Whisk - Helps with the slurry to incorporate the flour with a cup of hot broth. A handy tool that I have is a mini whisk for jobs like this.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the stew in a shallow 2-inch pan to cool down quickly. Then, store in an air-tight sealing container. The meal will last up to four days.
- Freezer - First, follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, you can place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
Flour can be messy when making dough. Clean all containers and utensils with cold water to remove them quickly. If you use hot or warm water, the flour will get sticky.
Frequently Asked Questions
The yellow and white yam is native to Africa. This tuber mostly comes in a cylinder shape with rough brown and stringy skin. In addition, the interior can be white or yellow, with slightly different tastes. You will mostly find this tuber in West Indie, Caribbean, Latin or African markets.
You might be lucky to find it at a big chain supermarket. When selecting the yam, pick one free of rotten spots and firm to the touch with no flesh cracks. In addition, if the yam is already presented cut (some stores will cut it into 6-inch pieces), be sure not to buy the end pieces may be more bitter.
Uncut yams can be stored in a cool, dry place for a long. Refrigerating yam can cause changes to the starch, which will eventually change the taste and is not recommended. Use a sharp knife, not a peeler, since the skin is thick. Oxidation may occur within a few minutes of being cut, just like a potato.
Sorghum flour is a gluten-free, low GI (Glycemic Index) food that is high in protein.
Looking for other stew recipes like this red bean stew? Try these:
Looking for other Caribbean-inspired recipes like this red bean stew? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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