Stew Peas (with Beef): A Hearty Jamaican Recipe

I decided to make a recipe that my grandmother has been making for our family my entire life and before. She no longer knows how much of each ingredient goes in, she eyes all of it. So making this actually made me feel closer to her, as the many women before us passed down recipes like this just by observation and practice.

stew peas with beef

The reason why I love recipes like this so much is because it holds history, not just my family’s but an entire culture’s. Foods like the one I made show a peoples’ ability to make something out of nothing much. Hearty stews like this could feed (and fill) hungry bellies of families without much food.Robyn_pic

Expertise: Beginner, this was the first stew I made on my own!

Ease: Medium, getting all the ingredients prepped was pretty easy, as was the cooking (stews just stew), figuring out the balance of flavors was the challenging part!

Customizing: I made a few changes, I forgot that she used beef with bones in it. My non-Jamaican boyfriend was the one to point it out to me! I switched out white flour for whole wheat flour and white rice for whole wheat rice. I wanted to see how I could modify a beloved recipe and really, there was not much difference!

Repeatability: I called my grandma after making it and let her know that it wasn’t as good as hers, but I was pretty proud of my first try at a dish I am happy to keep in our family. She made a few recommendations (which she possibly forgot to mention before) and said I really made her day. I will totally be making this again and hopefully will perfect it and pass it down too.

For Stew


  • Any Kind of Sweet Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger
  • Adobo
  • Italian Seasoning


  • Stew peas with pork or beef.
  • Boil raw peas 3/4 cooked.
  • Add meat to cook with a tablespoon of garlic.
    • For pre-cooked canned peas, add in with mostly cooked meat.
  • Add spices and onions to taste.

For Dumplings:


  • Flour and a little bit of water

Jamaican Recipe


  • Roll up in preferred shape and add to stew
  • Cook until meat is cooked through, peas are soft, and dumplings are solid.
  • If stew is not thick enough for your liking, add in a bit of flour mixed with water and stir.
  • Serve on top of rice!

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Enjoy this Hearty Jamaican Recipe!