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Barbados Bajan stew recipe

Barbados Bajan stew recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Stew and casserole
  • Lamb

As a Bajan who lives in Scotland now I really do need to keep my Caribbean cooking up to date, keep home not too far at heart. Enjoy!!

Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK

61 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 450g lamb, cut into 4cm cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig thyme, leaves picked (or 1/2 tbsp dried thyme)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 beef stock cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped into strips
  • 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco® (or 1/2 tablespoon dried chilli)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 bouquet garni: bay leaf, thyme, marjoram
  • 5 tablespoons gravy browning (I use Crosse & Blackwell® browning)

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:1hr45min

  1. Toss cut lamb with garlic, thyme, marjoram, the 1/2 crumbled stock cube, onion, jerk seasoning and Tabasco® sauce. Set aside for 10 minutes. (I use this time to prepare and measure the other ingredients to be ready to throw in the stew; also, fill your kettle to boil as we will need hot water.)
  2. Heat a dry pot and add the sugar (low to medium heat). Once sugar has caramelised, add the lamb mixture; stir fry gently for a few minutes. (the cooking of the sugar should be brief, do not let the sugar burn or you will end up with a bitter taste!)
  3. Add the butter and flour into the pan; mix in well. Add the carrot, potato and bouquet garni (or a bay leaf and a teaspoon each of dried thyme and dried marjoram). Mix evenly and move straight over to step 4.
  4. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the ingredients, add gravy browning and remaining stock cube and bring back to boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the meat is tender and the water has reduced into a nice stew, usually about 1 hour 20 minutes. Add salt to taste!


The photo makes it look a bit pink but it should basically be a very dark brown, almost black in colour. This is my first recipe on here so let me know what you guys think.Enjoy! :)

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (4)

This is a fantastic recipe, me and my husband really enjoyed it! I think the previous comment being to sweet was because she didn't have any jerk seasoning, I too had no premade jerk seasoning so I made it from scratch and I can honestly say it was not too sweet. So thanks for this great recipe it is going straight into my favourites folder.-03 Sep 2015

this stew is amazing. i made it for the first time yesterday. and will be making again. only change i did, was just using the dry ingredients to seasoning the meat and adding garlic powder, to the dry. and putting the onions and fresh garlic into the pan. but apart from that. everything else was the same .-13 Oct 2017

I have made this a few times now, and it's delicious. You need to have jerk seasoning for this dish to work. The only tweaking I did was to add vegetables to it (finely chopped spinach and leek)....just because I need more veg in my diet!!-28 Apr 2017

Brown Stew Chicken

When anyone talks of brown stewed chicken, I’m ready to eat.


3lbs Chicken, cut in pieces and skin removed wash in lime n salt
2 tbs green Bajan seasoning
1/2 tsp Black pepper
2 tsp Sugar
3 Large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalk chives finely chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 Large onion, chopped
1/4 each, Red and Green bell pepper, chopped
1 sprig of thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp Pepper sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato ketchup
2 cups Hot water
1 tsp salt (to taste)


Cooking Tip: Wash the chicken and make sure to dry it with a paper towel to remove any water before frying.

1. Season chicken with chicken seasoning, black pepper, garlic and green seasoning. Marinate the chicken overnight of at least one hour before cooking.

2. place a pot on the stove at high heat, Add the oil and sugar let it brown for 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken and brown on all sides for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned completely. careful not to burn. add onion, garlic, chives, and peppers stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add thyme, hot pepper sauce, tomato ketchup, and 1 cup of hot water to the pan and stir taste the gravy and add 1 tsp of salt, if needed let boil for 15 minutes.

Add 1 more cup of hot water and turn heat to low and cover the pan.

Simmer chicken for 45- 55 mins or until it is tender and the gravy has thickened.

  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 3/4 lb grated pumpkin
  • 1/2 lb grated sweet potato
  • 6 oz melted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 3/4 lb brown sugar
  • 4 ozs. raisins
  • 1 tsp spice
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh Banana leaves

Mix the coconut, pumpkin, sweet potato, sugar, spices, raisins, flour, corn flour, and salt together in a large bowl.

Add the beaten egg, melted butter/margarine, and milk. Mix thoroughly by hand to combine. You should have a thick mixture that drops slowly from a spoon. Add more flour if the mixture is not thick enough add a bit more milk if it is too thick.

Fresh green Banana leaves are traditionally used to wrap the conkie mixture. If you have these, strip leaves from stalk with a sharp knife then briefly singe them over an open flame to make them more pliable. Cut the leaves into individual 8" squares.

Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture into the centre of the banana leaf. Fold the leaf around the mixture, taking care not to rip the leaf.

Steam the conkies on a rack over boiling water in a large saucepan for 1 hour or until they are firm.

Bajan Beef Stew Supreme

Bajan Beef Stew is a true “comfort food”. In Barbados, it is traditionally served as the main entree, accompanied by peas, rice, pickled cucumbers, and sweet potato pie. Bajan cooks, however will usually have multiple variations on the meal. Oftentimes the extra ingredients are comprised of whatever is available in the kitchen. They get included into the pot, but always the mainstay ingredients and seasonings are the same.

You can, after trying out this very traditional, mainstream version of Bajan Beef Stew, to improvise in your kitchen. Once you get the basics down, you can get creative and customize it even further toward you and your family’s personal tastes.

(Photo Attributed to Author: jeffreyw)

Bajan Beef Stew Recipe-

  • 2 lb. stewing beef, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 medium-sized white or yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp. raw turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunk lengths
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large stalk of fresh thyme
  • 1 large stalk of fresh marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chili pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter combined with 2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large bowl, marinate the beef chunks in black pepper, salt and 3 cloves of the crushed garlic.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, caramelize the onions and the remaining 3 cloves of garlic. Place in another bowl, and set aside for now.
  3. In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, fry the meat in hot oil and melted sugar until well browned all over.
  4. Now add in the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, salt, black pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, paprika, ground cloves, and water, Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to just a lively simmer, and cook for about 1-1/2 hours.
  5. Remove the stalks of thyme and Marjoram, and the bay leaves add in the celery and carrots.
    Replace the lid, and cook for 35 to 40 minutes more.
  6. Towards the end of the cooking, add in the butter and flour mixture, stirring well, to thicken the gravy.
  7. Serve your Bajan Beef Stew while nice and hot.

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  • 2 cups pigeon peas (tinned or fresh)
  • 2 cups rice
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ lb salt beef (diced)
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • 1 tbsp chive
  • 1 large tomato (diced)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)

Add the peas, diced salt beef, diced onion and herbs to 4 cups of water and boil until the peas are tender but not mushy (about 20 minutes).

Add the rice, the remaining 2 cups of water and the diced tomato. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until the rice has absorbed the water.

Bajan Hot Sauce, A taste of Barbados

Since its getting colder for much of the U.S. so lets warm up the kitchen and make some Bajan hot sauce! This is a unique hot sauce to the Bajan/Barbadian culture. The bright yellow color comes from turmeric in addition of mustard – the yellow prepared variety. Mustard is not usual ingredient found in other Caribbean type of sauces. The distinct hot flavor of scotch bonnets really shine and work well with the addition mustard. If scotch bonnets are hard to get in your area you could use habanero peppers but our preference is the scotch bonnet for authentic flavor.

This hot sauce is great with all kinds of food. I use it as a “table” sauce for anything that could use the addition of a spicy heat. Of course, seafood is a perfect match since it is a Caribbean style sauce. Bajan hot sauce will elevate the flavor of simple grilled chicken breasts or thighs. Bajan sauce is especially good with fried foods as the tardiness from mustard, lime and vinegar cut through the greasiness.

This sauce has several variation changing from kitchen to kitchen and home to home. However our version is simple with limited ingredients to let the peppers shine. Variations include added culantro (Shado Beni, Chandon Beni), ginger, or rum however we really prefer the “simple is best” approach in this particular sauce.

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Health Snapper Recipe: Snapper Barbados

Do you remember that awesome book I told you about where I found the inspiration for my Curried Ham with Mangoes recipe? Well, it’s back, baby. That’s right, Tropic Cooking strikes again!

Just saying the name makes me feel like I’m on vacation. I wish I had a little emoticon to put here of a sunglasses-wearing character relaxing in a beach chair. Man, that’s some bad writing… “sunglasses-wearing?” Jeeeeze.

Okay. So. This fish. It’s really easy.

You turn on your broiler, pull out a sheet pan, throw everything but the fish in the blender (because, you know, fish in a blender is gross), spread it over the fish and put it all in the oven for a few minutes.

This is one of my favorite snapper fish recipes and it is so easy.

I love how all of the recipes I find in that book take about 5 minutes of forethought and 15 minutes of execution.

I adapted this Snapper Barbados recipe to limit it to ingredients I could find at my grocery store, so I don’t want to hear any excuses from you about “weird” ingredients or how you can’t find wild lime leaves or galangal root!

I know I have an odd affinity for hard-to-find ingredients, and let me just say I’m sorry for that. So for all of you that are still afraid to make a trip to an ethnic supermarket, this one’s for you.

Now you can’t say I never did anything for you!

This is a super healthy recipe full of fresh herbs and hardly any fat. I served it with some sauteed spinach because it only takes 47 seconds to wilt.

And also because spinach is full of fiber and it is great for WeightWatchers.

I don’t always share healthy recipes, but when I do, I make sure they are WeightWatchers friendly (<—I really hope you read that in the voice of the guy in the Dos Equis commercials).

Okay, one more thing of note: If you can’t find snapper, you can substitute with Rock Fish. Shh, Shh, it’s okay. I promise, it will be okay.

I hope you enjoyed my caffeine-fueled post today. Courtesy of “slamming black coffee because I’ve given up cream and sugar for as long as my resolve will hold.”


To make the spice mix, put all the ingredients into a spice or coffee grinder. Blend to a fine powder and transfer to an airtight container.

To make the curry sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the goat bones and goat leg and brown on all sides. Add the onion, celery, leek and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato paste and flour and cook for another minute, then add the garlic, herbs and the stock and cook for 30–40 minutes.

Strain the sauce into a clean pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the volume of the stock has reduced by two thirds and you have a thick and glossy sauce.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Put the goat loin in a roasting tray and cook for 5–7 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the plantain and courgette and broad beans and cook for 4–5 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat the curry sauce

Mix together the tomatoes shallots, lovage, mint and rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper.

Slice the lamb and put onto a large serving platter. Pour over the sauce and top with the vegetables. Garnish with the tomato salad and serve.

Barbadian Macaroni Pie Recipe

As one of the most popular choices on the island, Barbados’ macaroni pie is a must have when you visit the island. When you take your first bite, you’ll be sure to understand the hype that surrounds this dish. You may be questioning – Macaroni pie? Macaroni in pie crust? No need to worry - it’s actually macaroni and cheese made with cheddar cheese and other special ingredients to add the Bajan flavour.

You can find this dish on menus all over the island – from restaurants to buffets to roadside vendors. It is traditionally served for Sunday lunch in Barbadian homes, along with rice and peas, beef stew and chicken or fish. It goes with practically any meat!

We, at The Crane, wanted to help you recreate your Barbados memories, so we have shared the recipe of the Barbados macaroni pie below:

8 oz. long tubed macaroni
4 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
1.5 cups evaporated milk
1 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 small onion (grated)
1 egg (beaten)

In a medium saucepan, bring slightly salted water to boil and add macaroni. Add a little oil to prevent the macaroni from sticking together. Boil until macaroni is cooked but firm.

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Drain macaroni and combine with cheese in the saucepan. Then add all other ingredients, making sure to stir. Salt and pepper can also be added.

Empty the combination into a greased dish and top with grated cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

If you’ve tried this recipe, let us know how much you enjoyed this cheesy Bajan goodness!

Barbados Beef Stew with Molasses and Raisins

How many times have you tried a new dish and loved it, but then lost the recipe? Over the years I have wondered repeatedly What on earth did I do with that that great Barbados beef stew recipe I got from that guy at work? Losing a recipe that was just meh is one thing. Misplacing a great recipe that lends Caribbean flair to classic beef stew, however, makes me downright mad. Hearty beef stew jazzed up with ginger and molasses and raisins? Absolutely yes, a hundred times over – if I can just put my hands on that recipe!

Memory is a funny thing.

Memory works differently for everyone. My memories, for instance, lack structure. They’re amorphous and wispy, made of essence and mood versus historically accurate fact. Given the opportunity to recall a particular moment in my life, I’ll likely remember how I felt, but not so much what was said. I have a decent chance of pinning down the right decade if my outfit was particularly memorable, though (hello, plaid Toughskins). But that’s as accurate as they get.

Food memories are similar. When talking about a dish I once tried, I might be able to give you a flavor run-down and list the 3 or 4 main ingredients. For sure I’ll know how my taste buds felt (yum vs. just ok vs. never again). But, knowing who shared it with me, when was it that I tried it, or, most importantly, where did I put the recipe for so-called safekeeping? That is beyond the limits of my memory.

Thankfully, the Internet never forgets.

That’s probably one of the reasons I have been food blogging for so long. Even if the details of my kitchen adventures get a little muddy over time, the Internet will help me remember. And, since I’ve lost and found this Barbados Beef Stew recipe more than once, it’s probably best that I archive it here for safekeeping.

Is this Barbados beef stew actually from the Caribbean?

I’ve no idea, to be honest. While I’ve established we can’t really rely on my memory for facts, I do recall my co-worker’s brief story. He and his wife enjoyed this dish while on a tropical vacation, and had asked their host for the recipe. I was eating lunch with him one day while he was enjoying some leftovers. The aroma captivated me and the next day he handed me a card on which he had handwritten the recipe.

For the umpteenth time, foodie friends are the best friends. End of story.

That was in 1995 (not a typo lol). My husband and I loved it, and had it a few times over the next few years. Somehow, though, after two moves and three kids, I realized I had lost the recipe. Thanks to a little research, and a general idea of the ingredients, I was able to re-create it.

I have tweaked it here and there, and below is my best version. It works beautifully both as a stovetop stew as well as a slow cooker meal (both instructions provided). What sets this apart from a standard beef stew is the combination of spices, as well as the addition of molasses and apple cider vinegar. It’s thick and hearty, a hallmark of any great beef stew. It’s popping with ginger and a nice tang from the vinegar. The sweet and savory gravy surrounds the tender beef, carrots, and raisins.

Note: Don’t waste the dredging flour! Save it for thickening the sauce towards the end of cooking, since it’s full of the spices used to season the meat. Yes, it is safe to use as long as the stew reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit after adding the flour. Reaching this temperature should not be a problem, either in the slow cooker or on the stovetop. Use a kitchen thermometer to be sure.

Serve the stew over rice, or with mashed sweet or white potatoes. Not a drop of that gravy should go to waste.