Think Cajun red beans & rice, but with a rasta twist. This Jamaican Peas & Rice recipe can be served as a main course or as a side dish to go along with any jerked marinated meats. This version gets its flavors from a combination of ingredients, that encompasses the essence of this Atlantic ocean island.
The addition of my Basic Jamaican Jerk Marinade, Union Jack IPA, and pork shanks (cooked to make a pork stock) mixed with red beans and cooked slowly, give these this dish layers of spices, bitter and sweet finishing with savory and lots of yums. The combination of onions and garlic brings a sweetness to the dish, which adds balance to the IPA as it cooks. Yet the hoppy beer style infuses its flavors into the beans, bringing a citrus edge and bit to the dish, where usually this beer style would not be the first choice to cook with.
Serves: 6 – 8 as an entrée, 10 – 12 as a side dish
hot sauce,a selection of your favorite flavors and brands
Dried Bean Soaking Directions:
In a large container, add dried beans and water to cover at least 6 inches, letting sit to re-hydrate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Ham Stock Directions:
In a large preheated Dutch oven, over medium heat, add oil and onions. Cook onions for 3 - 5 minutes until transparent. Add garlic and thyme, sautéing for another minute. Next add ham shank or hock and cook on all sides, browning the meat, about 8 - 10 minutes of cooking time. Deglaze the pot with the IPA. Using a spoon, scrape the bottom to remove any caramelized bits, topping with enough cold water to completely cover the ham bones by an inch. Bring mixture to a boil, turning the heat down to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, making a ham stock.
Drain the beans from the soaking water and rinse lightly. Add the beans to the stock, cooking for 1 hour 15 minutes. Do not add any salt to the beans until the beans are cooked through or they will not cook properly.
After the beans are fully cooked, add the Basic Jerk Marinade and rice, and season with salt and pepper. Check the level of the stock in comparison to the beans and rice. The rice will absorb most of the liquid. If there is not enough liquid, add enough water to cover the beans and rice by one inch. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes. Check liquid level, removing the lid if there is excess stock or keep the lid on and cook for another 10 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked. Check the seasoning, adding more Jerk marinade if more heat is needed for your tastes. Remove the ham shank/hock from the pot; take out the bone and shred the remaining meat. Stir the meat back into the peas and rice and garnish with cilantro leaves and slices of green onion and your favorite hot sauces.
This dish can be cooled and stored for a few days before serving. If time is available, this dish does get better after 24 hours, infusing all the flavors together.
Beer Pairing Tips for Jamaican Cuisine:
With the strong and aggressive flavors from the curry and Jerk, try stronger beers that will stand up to the spices and chilies. Think IPA's, Double Reds, American Double | Imperial IPA, or even unusual Herb | Spiced Beers. These will stand up to the intensity of the food, rather than be muted by it. Hops will add a nice bitterness that isn’t found in this style of food, adding more complexity to the pairing.