It’s Caribbean Food Week this week! From 18th – 25th August, Grace Foods are celebrating all things Caribbean, ending with the Notting Hill Carnival in London – which I have allllways wanted to go to. Where else can you dance down the street dressed in nothing but a glittery bikini and a few feathers without receiving any funny looks? (not that the looks usually stop me)
To celebrate Caribbean Food Week, I had a go at making a Caribbean-style recipe. A lot of Caribbean food is meat-based (and sometimes quite unusual meats, at that), but there are vegetarian options too. Next on my list are vegetarian Jamaican patties, but this time I thought I’d keep it simple with this sweet potato stew with blackeye beans. It’s rich and flavourful, and definitely makes me wish I was in the Caribbean!
I’ve travelled to some amazing places in the last ten years or so, but unfortunately none of them have been in the Caribbean – so I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this stew. But if, like me, you’d like to do your bit to celebrate Caribbean food this week, I think this fits the bill pretty nicely.
The flavours in this stew are incredible – I’m loving the sweet / spicy combination lately! A lot of the flavour comes from the BBQ sauce, so make sure you choose a good one! I used this Jerk BBQ sauce, which added to the Caribbean vibe perfectly – it’s got just the right amount of sweetness and smokiness to flavour the stew without overpowering it.
But, there are plenty of other great flavours in this sweet potato stew, it’s not only the BBQ sauce. The chunks of sweet potato, kidney beans, black eyed beans and cabbage are also flavoured with tomatoes, coconut milk, spring onions, garlic, red chillis and veggie stock. It all adds up to a great stew!
This recipe makes a massive batch of sweet potato stew – I reckon it’ll feed at least 8. So it’s perfect for a big family gathering – leave it bubbling away and serve it up whenever everybody’s ready (my favourite thing about stew recipes – so low-maintenance!). If your family is smaller than that (like my itty bitty family of two), you could try freezing the leftovers, which is what I will be doing – I’ll report back! I’m even thinking of repurposing a bit of it into some sort of Caribbean-style enchiladas, what do you reckon?
Do you think you’ll be making anything special this week to celebrate Caribbean Food Week? Or are you going to the Notting Hill Carnival? Keep an eye out in your local shops for any Caribbean-themed samples or promotional offers!
Caribbean-style sweet potato stew
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 spring onions sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 mild red chillis finely chopped
- 1 large sweet potato mine weighed ~500g, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp BBQ sauce jerk flavoured is perfect
- 1 very small cabbage or half a medium cabbage remove any tough stems, cut into strips
- 400 g tin blackeye beans 240g when drained, drained
- 400 g tin kidney beans 240g when drained, drained
- 200 ml coconut milk 1/2 a tin
- Black pepper
- Brown rice to serve
- Heat the oil in a large casserole dish, and add the chopped onion, spring onions, garlic, red chillis, and diced sweet potato. Cook everything over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onion is almost soft.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and BBQ sauce, mix well, and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Add the chopped cabbage and the two tins of beans, as well as the coconut milk. Cover again, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- When the sweet potato is fully cooked and everything is piping hot, season to taste, and serve with brown rice.