If you’re looking for a one pot dish with rich layers of flavor, which screams “Caribbean”, you’ll love this one. You just can’t go wrong with Caribbean style stewed meats and dumplings.. yuh know we’re known globally for our dumplings and this simple coconut version is simply delightful. Using the traditional Southern Caribbean way of making stewed beef, then we’ll add the dumpling dough directly to the pot to simmer and infuse with all the wonderful flavors of the stew. You’ll have an explosion of flavors with every bite!
2 lbs beef – cubed into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced or crushed
1 teaspoon ginger grated
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (one that can withstand high heat)
1 medium onion – diced
1 tomato – diced
1 tablespoon green seasoning
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
* You may need to add an additional 3/4 cup of water when slowly cooking the beef, so there’s enough remaining liquid to cook the coconut dumplings.
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
Wash and drain the cubed beef (about 1-2 inch pieces), then season with everything but the carrot, oil, water and brown sugar. Mix well and allow to marinate for a couple hours in the fridge.
Take it out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking so it comes back up to room temperature. In a deep (heavy) pot, heat the oil on high, then add the brown sugar and stir. The sugar will start to melt, then changes will happen (please pay close attention)… it will melt, go frothy and start taking on colour. When it gets to a rich amber colour (don’t let it burn or go black or it will give the dish a bitter taste) start adding the marinated beef to the pot. If some of the marinade gets in.. no worries. IMPORTANT: Have the bowl with the seasoned beef close (the sugar will change colour fast), use a spoon with a long handle in the event the melted sugar splashes up on you and be very gentle when adding the season beef to the pot.
* If you’re new to stewing with brown sugar I’d recommend that you use an older pot as if the sugar gets burned, it may stain your newer pots … even stainless steel.
Stir well so each piece of beef is coated with that lovely caramel colour. With the heat still on high, bring it up to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and let that go for about 15 minutes. It will spring it’s own juice. Then it’s time to burn off the acquired liquid so we intensify both the overall colour and flavor. Turn up the heat and remove the lid off the pot. In the same bowl you marinated the beef, add the water and mix well to pick up any of the marinade which may have been left back. When the liquid in the pot is burned off and you have a wonderful established colour, it’s now time to add the water from the bowl as well as the diced carrot and bring to a boil.
As it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let that slowly braise for about 1 hour. After about 40 minutes you can start making the flour dumplings. Basically a firm dough with the ingredients mentioned above. Set the dough ball to rest for about 10 minutes before we shape them into spinners.
Break off small pieces of the dough (about a tablespoon full) and using your hands, roll into a skinny cigar shape. Try to keep them the same size so they cook evenly.
*NOTE! If you want to make this a true one-pot dish you may need to double the ingredients of the coconut dumplings as I usually have mine with bread, so I didn’t go heavy with the dumplings.
The beef should be tender at this point and have some remaining gravy. If you find that there isn’t enough liquid to cook the dumplings, do add another cup or so of hot water to the pot before adding the raw dumplings. As it comes back to a full boil (raise the heat) , start adding the dumplings to the pot. Stir in well (be gentle) so they are covered by liquid.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and let them cook for about 10 minutes. As they cook the flour will also help to thicken the gravy, so do keep an eye on things so you’re left with a bit of gravy at the end. Top with some frozen peas (optional) taste for salt (adjust if needed) then turn off the stove, cover the pot and let the residual heat cook the peas.
Just by looking at the picture above I’m sure those juices in your mouth are beginning to sprout! This stewed beef with coconut dumplings is unequivocally a wicked dish and something I try to make during those cold winter months as it’s definitely comfort food for me.