Categorized |Beef

A classic lazy-man dish using canned corned beef.

caribbean cornedbeef recipeA combination of being tired, lazy and hungry forced me into our pantry to find something quick to eat with the leftover rice we had from the night before. I not much of a breakfast person, but when lunch time comes around I need to get some food in me. I work from home (have done so the past 11 years now) so I have the convenience of  eating well if I want to. Today all I wanted was something fast, but I wasn’t ready to sacrifice on taste. There was Mr. Hereford corned beef staring at me, as if it was saying “I dare you”…

This dish takes me back to when we owned a “parlor” (like a variety store) in Trinidad and late at nights the local drunks and bachelors would come calling on us to sell them a can of corned beef or Vienna sausages so they could have a quick meal. Even though we had closed for business hours ago and were in bed (our house was at the back of the store). I still remember telling my brother to shut up and pretend we’re not hearing them.

You’ll Need…

1 can corned beef
1 medium tomato chopped
1 medium onion sliced
1 scallion sliced
1 hot pepper sliced (remove seeds to control heat) I used a habanero pepper
dash black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ketchup
1/4 bell pepper – optional (sliced thin)

Heat a pan on medium heat, then empty the contents of the can of corned beef into it and break it apart. The original way I’ve seen this done is to heat some oil in the pan first, but since I’m trying to get back in shape I’m holding off on amount of oil and fatty stuff I use.

fast corned beef recipe

cooking canned cornedbeef

corned beef and rice

The corned beef itself is very fatty, so basically there’s no real need for oil. The next step is to prepare the onion, pepper, tomato, scallion and bell pepper. Normally bell peppers and scallions are not used as this in it’s original form is very rustic. But not only do I like the added flavour, I like using up the stuff I have in the fridge when I cook, so it doesn’t waste. Then toss everything into the pan with the corned beef and hit it with a dash of black pepper. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Don’t cover or you’ll risk everything going soggy and into a “mush”. BTW, this is cooked on a medium heat and is good 5-7 minutes after adding all the ingredients.

ingredients for cooking cornedbeef

trini cornedbeef

recipe for cooking trini style corned beef

trinidad corned beef

caribbean cornedbeef recipe

This dish is only complete for me with sliced cucumber on the side as in the pictures below. Besides rice, this can also be enjoyed on sandwiches, as a topping for crackers, roti, sliced bread.. even stuffed in pitas.

trinidad cornedbeef and rice

Trini cornedbeef and rice

Do you have a different way of making this? Leave me your comments below as I’m always looking for different ways to prepare the dishes I grew up on and I’m sure everyone else would love to learn different techniques.

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happy cooking


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63 Responses to “A classic lazy-man dish using canned corned beef.”

  1. Julie Dictter says:

    I remember this delicious dish. However, my mom would also add cabbage to the recipe. The best!

  2. PK says:

    Iv always used butter to fry garlic ginger and onions in before adding the beef and tinned tomatoes. I use proper fragranced basmati rice and depending on how I feel I put rice on the side or add it when cooked to the complete dish right at the end. Stunning.

  3. Rachel says:

    Hi Chris

    As a West Indian corn beef is a comfort food. My Mum would season the corn beef – onions, sweet pepper, pepper sauce, add some ketchep. She would boil a handful of elbow macaroni and then add the cooked macaroni to the seasoned corn beef. Then she would add one egg that was beaten in enough milk which she would add to the corn beef mixture. Place the corn beef mixture in the bottom of a greased baking dish and top with seasoned mashed potatoes. You may add some cheese to the mashed potatoes if you like. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Basically shepherd pie but with corn beef. You can add carrots if you like. We would have that with a nice green salad and fried plantain.

  4. Greg says:

    True to the spirit of the dish, I made a few substitutions based on what happened to be in my fridge. I didn’t have any habaneros, ketchup or scallions, so instead I used chipotles, marinara sauce, and some finally chopped green beans (more for the sake of using them up than an honest attempt to replicate scallions…) respectively. I really like how it turned out – the flavour was fresher than I was expecting, and the chipotles gave me precisely the level of heat I wanted. Would definitely make again!

  5. Harcourt Bethel says:

    In the Bahamas we do it the same way, BUT with added tomato paste and served with grits… we call it “Fire Engine”

  6. Mother peppa says:

    I use it the same way too but I also add a can of sweet corn or sweet peas to make it stretch you can also use a can of mixed vegetables. And call it Christmas lunch . Kids love it


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