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Kidney Beans Recipe: Jamaican Stew Peas With Pig's Tail

This recipe uses a lot of red kidney beans.

This recipe uses a lot of red kidney beans.

Making the Most of Kidney Beans

I love sharing my favourite Jamaican recipes not only because I know you will love them, too, but also because I keep seeing crap being passed off as Jamaican recipes on the internet. Sometimes it makes me so mad that someone would make up these recipes, not knowing the real thing, and just figure that people will believe them.

I have seen so many crappy Jamaican recipes that I just want to scream, and these people are making money by robbing you of the real deal. If you don't believe me, make my dishes and try some of theirs, and see whose dishes come out better.

Delicious Stewed Peas

Enough about that. I love Jamaican stewed peas, and so does my partner. I try to make it every week, but sometimes I can't because I really should not be having pig's tail.

Pig's tail is salted and cured, and it is just that: the tail of the pig! The pig's tail has to be parboiled before it can be cooked in order to remove some of the salt. See the full instructions below. Happy cooking!

Sorry about the lack of photos; I have trouble uploading them. I will add the photos as soon as I figure out what's wrong. There is a step-by-step video I made for you to watch if something seems confusing.

Cook Time (Includes Prep Time)

Cook timeReady inYields

3 hours

3 hours

4 to 6 people, depending on your appetite!


  • 1/2 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 3/4 pound cured/salted pig's tail
  • 2 cups rich coconut milk
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimento seed, (allspice)
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bunch fresh or dried thyme, OR 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • 2 to 3 stalks scallion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon w/w flour flattened
  • 1/2 cup flour, for tiny dumplings
  • Water


  1. Search dried beans for any foreign objects, then rinse a few times.
  2. Put beans to cook on medium fire with 3 cups water, pimento seed, and garlic.
  3. When water is bubbling, add 2 cups water. In a separate pot, put on 4 cups of water to boil.
  4. In the meantime, join your pig's tail. Rinse once under running water.
  5. When the second pot boils, add the pig's tail. Turn the flames off and cover until ready to use.
  6. When the peas are tender, add the pig's tail and 2 to 3 cups of water. Cover and let cook.
  7. When the pig's tail is tender, add the coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Cover and let simmer.
  8. In the meantime, make the dough with plain flour by adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough forms. Do not add salt.
  9. Pinch off a dime-sized piece of the dough and roll it between your palms to form a snake, then add it to the stew peas. Keep making and adding the snake-like dumplings until the dough is used up.
  10. Add thyme, pepper, scallion, and black pepper. Stir and cover. Let simmer until the liquid has started to evaporate.
  11. Check your stew peas for taste and add your own flavor, which is totally optional as the coconut and pig's tail will have given it a nice flavor already.
  12. Mix the whole wheat flour in about 4 to 5 tablespoons of water and stir it into the stew peas.
  13. Turn flames down to low, cover, and let simmer until your desired consistency is achieved.

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This stewed peas dish only has a few variations, and here they are:

  • Substitute 1 tablespoon of butter for the coconut milk.
  • Use cured/salted/corned beef with the pig's tail.
  • Use corned pork instead of the pig's tail.
  • If you are not a pork eater, try chicken feet or chicken.
  • For vegetarians, use veggie chunks or tofu.
  • Black beans make wonderful stewed peas as well.

What to Serve It With

Stewed peas can be eaten with any starch, but the popular choice is rice. Rice, whether white, parboiled, or brown, gives it balance. Nothing compares to stew peas and rice!