Here’s yet another classic way to put breadfruit to use as did our ancestors. I still recall the scent of the salted pigtails stewing in freshly made coconut milk, just before mom would load the pot with ‘full’ (meaning mature, but not ripe) breadfruit. However she would add a layer of baby dasheen bush leaves to the top. Giving the dish more body and flavor… allowing for better ‘steaming’.
4 lb Breadfruit (peeled, cored & cut into segments)
4 med sweet potatoes (cut in 1/2)
2 lbs salted pigtails (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1/2 medium onion (diced)
2 tablespoons Caribbean Green Seasoning (divided)
1 medium tomato (diced)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
3 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 scallion (diced)
5 sprigs thyme
4 slices ginger
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
4 Bird’s Eye Pepper
1 tablespoon parsley (I finished it at the end with this)
1 lemon or lime (juice)
Wash the cut salted pigtails (get your butcher to do so as it can be tough), then into a deep pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rolling boil and cook 30-40 minutes. Then drain, rinse and set aside. This step helps to tenderize the pigtails and help remove some of the salt it was cured in.
Peel the sweet potato and breadfruit in the meantime (watch the video below). Cut the sweet potato into 1/2 and after coring the breadfruit (soft center), slice into thick wedges.
How to peel and core a breadfruit << Click To Watch The Video!
Leave the prepped sweet potato and breadfruit covered with water so they don’t discolor.
The salted pigtails should be ready now (drained / cool), so it’s time to season it with the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, black pepper, Caribbean Green Seasoning (1 tablespoon), onion and tomato. Mix well and get ready to stew.
In a larger heavy pot, heat the oil on a medium/high flame and add the sugar. It will melt, go frothy and (pay attention now as you DON’T want
it to go black) it will go amber in color. As soon as this happens, add the seasoned pig tails to the pot and stir. Watch the video below to follow along as this step can be a bit tricky. If you allow the sugar to go black.. STOP. Cool the pot, wash and start over.
Turn the heat down to low and put the lid on for 4-5 minutes (to allow the flavors to develop). Then remove the lid, crank up the heat and add the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer as we add the pieces of the breadfruit and sweet potato (so we don’t have a vigorous boil going to potentially burn us). Try to coat everything with the rich coconut sauce, then add the scallions, bird’s eye pepper (I didn’t cut them as I wanted the flavor from the skin and not more heat), garlic and scotch bonnet pepper.
Bring back to a boil, add the thyme and the remaining Caribbean Green Seasoning, then reduce to low (pot covered) and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Taste for salt and adjust, I didn’t have to add any as the residual salt from the pig tails was enough for me. You will notice that the coconut milk wasn’t enough to completely cover the breadfruit, but by covering the pot, the steam created will help it go tender. You will need to stir it a couple times during cooking. It will fall apart a bit so try to be a bit gentle.
Top with the chopped parsley and get ready to enjoy a dish which is hearty and VERY comforting to Caribbean people. Serve with a side salad and/or slices of avocado. Remove the Bird’s Eye Peppers before serving, unless you have someone who enjoys them.