Best Recipe for Jamaican Stew Pork

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

Photo of the Jamaican stewed pork.

Photo of the Jamaican stewed pork.

Jamaicans love pork, and the second most popular way to have pork is stewed. We like our meats dark—whether they're grilled, broiled, or stewed. It is customary to use a darkening agent on the meat to give it some color. The other thing to do is to brown the meat, then stew it in its sauces.

The pork stew recipe below can be done how you like, as long as it's dark and has a gravy when you are done—then you have your stewed pork.

Jamaican-style pork stew is different from the European or American version. Whereas the American pork stew has lots of vegetables and potatoes that make it a wonderful, hearty meal, you have to serve your pork as a meat dish here in Jamaica. (See below for some additions and variations.) I serve this with our traditional rice and peas and a salad.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

1 hour

1 hour 20 min

6 servings

The pork before it's seasoned.

The pork before it's seasoned.


  • 2 pounds pork stew, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 heaping tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large thyme sprig
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about 1 inch, smashed or sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimento seeds, cracked

A Note on Salt

Salt is optional because the seasonings are already salty. I omit the salt altogether. You can taste the sauce and adjust the salt to your taste.

Additions and Variations

Most households will add something to their pork stew other than the plain pork. Here are what Jamaicans will add to their stew pork. Choose one of the following:

  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 cup broad beans, cooked (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup green peas (or 1 small can)

You may add your preferred type of vegetable to your stew, but you must remember that this dish is not a one-pot meal and will be served with a starch and salad.


  1. Before you cut up your pork, I recommend rinsing it in some vinegar or a lime juice solution. Pat dry your pork with paper towels.
  2. Cube your meat and set in a bowl.
  3. To the bowl, add all other ingredients except for oil. Marinate for at least 2 hours before cooking. It's best to do this overnight.
  4. In a dutch oven, heat oil on high until it's almost smoking. While oil is heating, shake off the scallion, onion, garlic, and all seasoning pieces. Reserve.
  5. Add all the pieces of meat to the hot oil and cover. Keep turning the meat to ensure that all sides get browned. Let the pork brown, covered, until all pieces are nice and brown. Keeping the meat covered ensures that the meat does not dry out.
  6. When the pork is nice and brown, drain any excess oil, add 1 cup of water, and reduce flames to medium. Each time the water evaporates, add 1 cup at a time until the meat is tender. Keep checking the meat to make sure you don't overcook it. You will know when the pork is tender when the meat starts to fall away from the bone.
  7. When the meat is tender, add the reserved seasoning and 1 cup of water, if needed. Reduce flames to medium low. Cover and let simmer until your sauce is nice and consistent to your liking. I like my sauce medium-thick, but you may thicken your sauce to your liking.
  8. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
  9. Turn off flames when your sauce is ready.
The meat being browned.

The meat being browned.

Seasoning Substitutes

There are only a few things consistent with your Jamaican pork stew: the color, onions, garlic, scallion, thyme, ginger, and pimento.

The type of coloring you put on your pork is up to you. Here are a few suggestions.

Browning Agent Options

  • Supermarket Browning: This is browning that is sold in the supermarkets and used mainly for baking. It is really just a coloring agent, as it doesn't add much flavor, and it's quite thick. For 2 pounds of pork, you should only use 2 drops. Use a syringe or teaspoon to add this to your meat, or you may run the risk of adding too much.
  • Teriyaki or Worcestershire: You can also use Teriyaki or Worcestershire sauce. These will give the pork unique flavors.
  • Sugar Browning: This is totally homemade. I hate the taste of the commercial browning, so I make my own. It's not as dark, but it tastes better. See the recipe below.

How to Make Sugar Browning


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • water


  1. I add 3 tablespoons sugar to a small saucepan and let that boil until the sugar gets chocolaty dark and starts to give that burnt smell. Do not stir yet, but make sure all the sugar is boiling.
  2. Next, add 4 tablespoons water. Swirl sauce pan, then add another 3 or 4 tablespoons water. Let it boil a little, then stir to dissolve any sugar that is sticking to the bottom.

It may take awhile to get the hang of it, but you'll get it with practice. Your browning should have no lumps or burnt particles in it, and it should be the consistency of maple syrup. If you see black stuff at the bottom of the pot, then it's likely your browning is too bitter.

Make your browning a day before it's needed so you are sure it turns out okay. Add 1 teaspoon of this to your meat and store the balance in an airtight bottle or jar for future use.


Instead of the coriander, celery salt, garlic salt, and onion powder that I used, you may use your preferred powdered spices, such as:

  • Pork spice or bouillon
  • Meat stock in the gravy instead of water
  • Whatever additional spices you might prefer

As I mentioned, flavor your pork your way. But be sure to keep the basic fresh herbs intact (the garlic, onion, thyme, pimento, and ginger are a must).

© 2012 Carolee Samuda


Tom on January 01, 2020:

Needs Scotch Bonnet pepper to be authentic Jamaican.

Alison North England on January 02, 2019:

We had a large piece of pre-roasted pork on the bone left this Christmas. Didn't chop the meat. I made the base added 3/4 pint of chicken stock, added the pork as a whole piece simmered for 6 hours , turning once....meat revived ( as it has been a bit dry) we had a fabulous stew, rich and spicy. Thank you Carolee for recipe

Deborah on February 11, 2018:

I tried this and added pineapple and spinners (flour dumplings), and the pineapple juice instead of stock. Delicious!

Kimmy on January 17, 2018:

Definitely trying this Sunday for dinner

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 01, 2015:

Hello Lotoy, good luck and Happy New Year to you!

Lotoy on January 01, 2015:

Thanks for this recipe. It looks pretty straight-forward. I'm going to make it for my boyfriend tomorrow and update you on how it goes.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 10, 2014:

Happy to have you! Oh, and come as you are...still loving the suit :D

Elisabeth Ellis from Nashville, TN. on November 10, 2014:

This looks fabulous. I'm coming over for dinner, I hope you don't mind! :)

Neetu M from USA on September 28, 2014:

Oh, I am sure I will! :)

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on September 28, 2014:

Hello Wordwithlove, thank you for stopping by my hub. Yes, you can substitute the pork for beef or chicken in this recipe. I am glad you like the Jamaican flavors, I hope you like the chicken dish too.

Neetu M from USA on September 27, 2014:

Great recipe, Cardisa. I have a thing about cooking international foods and have pulled up recipes for Jamaican chicken using the jerk seasoning and some of the ingredients you have listed here for pork. Since my family eats only chicken and fish, I won't get around to this fine recipe, but I sure will try it with chicken instead. I love the strong flavors of Jamaican food!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 29, 2014:

Hello Calypsodave, thank you.

You can go to my Hubpages profile page by clicking my name beside my photo (top of page), then click the follow button at the top of the page.

You can also follow my blog here by subscribing http://www.caroleesbestrecipes.com/.

Have a great day :)

calypsodave on January 28, 2014:

Hi Please can you add me to your blog so I can follow your


Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on July 29, 2013:

Thank you Compu-smart. :))

Tony Sky from London UK on July 29, 2013:

Yeah man. dis food recipe looks wicked :/

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 21, 2013:

Hello Byshea, I hope you love it as much as do. Please come back and let me know how you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

Shea on January 21, 2013:

I have to try this recipe! It looks absolutely delicious and not that hard to make. Pork is one of my favorite meats.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 18, 2013:

Hi Wesman, you need to get cooking! You can stew 'em, roast em' or just plain jerk 'em! Nice to see you. I have a nice jerk recipe if you like.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on January 18, 2013:

And now I'm reminded I have a nice hunk of pork in the freezer, and I've yet to eat today!!!!! :)

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 11, 2013:

Wilfai, I totally forgot about that method! What I usually do is make enough to last a while that's why I haven't done it your way in such a long time.

wilfai on January 11, 2013:

Browning idea... the way I make my meat brown is by adding 1 tablespoon oil to pan in which you will be cooking the meat over medium heat then add 3 tablespoon brown sugar and as the sugar starts to bubble and turns brown, add the meat, let it brown on one side about 2 minutes, this gives it a beautiful color,

I agree that it is better than bottled browning or salty soy sauce.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 09, 2012:

Hi Epi, your presence on my hub make me want to cook lots of yummy things just to have you stop by...lol....Thanks for being my faithful friend.


epigramman on November 09, 2012:

...there is only thing more yummy than this delicious looking recipe and that is kissing your hand sweet Carolee and saying thank you for the memories of being my friend and esteemed colleage - don't worry I am not going anywhere - I just like to check in with you - so I can truthfully say I was hanging out with a beautiful woman today.

Makes my life worthwhile.

sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time 7:30pm canada

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 07, 2012:

Thank you Teaches12345, Jamaican cuisine is strongly influenced by the Spanish as well because the Spaniards were the first to colonize our country.

Dianna Mendez on November 06, 2012:

This looks really good. I find this similar to a spanish dish we make with pork and so I know this will be a hit in our home. I was thinking about the darkening agent as I read through our recipe, glad you posted it at the end. I like your sugar recipe for it, but I may just use a bottle of Teriyak. Voted up and across.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 05, 2012:

Thanks Ruby, I hope you will like it. Let me know how it turns out.


Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 05, 2012:

I love pork, but i never made a pork stew. It looks delicious. I will try it. Thank you.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 05, 2012:

Mhatter, do you mean you have had the dish but you never prepared it? You said you have had it but you didn't have the recipe...lol

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 05, 2012:

Thanks Nancynurse, have a great day.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on November 04, 2012:

I think I have had this, I know I didn't have this recipe. Thank you

Nancy McClintock from Southeast USA on November 04, 2012:

I am not a big pork eater but this looks like a great recipe.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 04, 2012:

Hi Rjsadowski, I so pleased that you like my recipe. I hope you get a chance to try to let me know how you like it.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 04, 2012:

Hey Billy, if youlove pork you will love this recipe. Despite all the ingredients it is pretty easy to prepare.

rjsadowski on November 04, 2012:

Your recipe sounds very tasty. I never met a pork stew that I didn't like and yours is no exception.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 04, 2012:

There are certain foods I will eat no matter how they are prepared...chicken being one of them and of course pork! Great recipe, one we will be trying.

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on November 04, 2012:

It actually makes my mouth water looking at it. He's a lucky man. Hopefully traffic will improve. You have a good one, too :-)

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 04, 2012:

Hi Jan, I made this today for my fiancé and he almost had the entire pot...lol. Still upset about my traffic dropping...lol

Pork can be done the same way too.

Have a great Sunday. :)

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on November 04, 2012:

Wow, this looks so tasty, Cardisa. My mom never made stew pork, only pork chops, cook down with gravy. How r u doing today?

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