There are hundreds of varieties of beans across the world. Each bean type has a unique taste, size, and other unique characteristics. But in this post, we will be talking about Belizean stew beans.
Every time I crave Caribbean dishes, I cook myself Belizean stew beans. Four years ago, I visited my friend in Punta Gorda in Belize, and she introduced these beans to me. Since then, I have enjoyed recreating the dish at home.
The traditional way to serve Belizean stew beans is with white rice, fried plantains, and a side of coleslaw. So, if you want to learn a Belizean stew beans recipe and what you can eat with it, keep reading.
What is Stew Beans Recipe?
Beans are one of the cheapest and healthiest food items the entire family could enjoy. Locally produced dried beans are more affordable than canned. Their potentials are beyond tasty and healthy.
And Belizean stew beans are among the popular options. They are simmered to perfection after being soaked overnight. Alternatively, you can use a crockpot or pressure cooker.
These beans part a critical part of many classic dishes, like rice and beans. They are usually served with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are also typically made with dried fresh red beans.
The recipe is not only but also nutritious. But if you want to make it incredibly healthy, the beans are paired with rice. They are combining rice and beans results in a complete protein dish.
What are the Different Ways to Eat Belizean Stew Beans?
Traditionally, Belizean meal pairs the beans with coconut rice, potato salad or coleslaw, stewed chicken, and fried plantains. But you can eat these beans just like other beans in different ways, such as:
- Blended into a bean dip
- With eggs for a healthy breakfast
- In a burrito
- On top of nachos or coconut rice
- In a rice and veggie bowl
- Refried and added to any favorite dish
Easy Belizean Stew Beans Recipe
The preparation takes 8 to 12 hours, while the cooking only takes a few hours.
Cooking Belizean stew beans is a bit time-consuming, but the results are satisfying. You have to start the preparation the night before. Therefore, plan and allocate enough time. But everything is all worth it, and you will appreciate every spoonful of beans even more.
- 1 pound bag of dried red kidney beans
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Pigtail (optional)
- 2 teaspoons of salt (optional)
For the optional ingredients, you can add a pigtail for a classic flavor, but it is not a requirement. Alternatively, you can use the bone from the leftover spiral ham, cooked bacon, or ham hock. If you prefer adding meat to the recipe, make sure to omit the salt.
- In a large bowl, place beans and remove any rogue pebbles.
- Cover the bowl with water and pick out any floating beans or beans you do not like.
- Drain and replace the water with a fresh one.
- Add an extra 2 to 3 inches of water over the beans.
- Leave the bowl on the counter, allowing the beans to soak for at least 8 hours. Ideally, you can soak the beans overnight.
- The next day, drain the water.
- Transfer the beans to a deep pot and cover them with water. Add an extra 1 to 2 inches of water.
- Add roughly chopped garlic to the pot with beans and water,
- Add the coconut oil, ground cumin, oregano, cumin seeds, and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil over high heat without the lid.
- Reduce the heat to a medium and hard simmer. Cover the pot with a lid.
- If it boils over, cracks the lid a smidge, occasionally stirring to avoid the beans from sticking to the bottom.
- While the beans are absorbing the water, add water to the pot to keep the beans covered since the water evaporates while boiling.
- After around 1 hour, scoop out a spoonful of beans and check if the skin on the beans peels back or lifts. If yes, they are ready to season with chopped onions and salt or pork.
- Continue to simmer until the liquid turns into gravy.
- Taste the beans and adjust seasonings according to your preference.
Top Dishes to Eat With
While I have already given you some ideas on how to eat Belizean stew beans in different ways, here are other dishes you can try with it:
Rice and Beans
Belizean rice and beans are often the highlights of Sunday dinners. No wonder it is the national dish of Belize. A cup of stewed beans alongside the liquid is paired with layers of aromatics and coconut before stirring the rice in. It is like cooking rice in savory, rich gravy.
Since the rice absorbs the gravy, it becomes beautifully tinted and tender. Alternatively, you can serve the beans on top of fresh coconut white rice.
Make delicious ganaches with refried beans piled on top of crisp, fried corn tortillas. This famous Belizean fast food is commonly found at Belizean street food sites. You will love the tortilla shells with layer beans and freshly grated cheese.
Of course, the Belizean onion sauce is the finishing touch. You can enjoy garnaches with fresh tomato-based salsa or ketchup.
Panades are among the favorite delicacies in Belize. With the Maya, Mexican, and Spanish influences, this corn stable becomes a crisp envelope for refried stewed beans.
After the corn-based dough is flattened, refried beans are placed to be the filling. Then, it is sealed the same as empanada style. The dough is fried until golden brown and float. They are served hot alongside onion sauce.
Refried Beans with Johnny Cake
When Belizean stewed beans are blended with their liquid, you can create more recipes and flavors due to their versatile texture. First, heat coconut oil until shimmering. Add the diced onions and garlic. Once softened, add the blended beans and stir frequently—Cook to the desired consistency.
You can serve the refried beans with coconut-rich Johnny cakes. This meal can instantly make your day!
Meanwhile, if you want to enjoy Belizean stew beans with potato salad, here is my simple recipe:
- Boiled potatoes
- 1 can of mixed veggies
- Salt and paper
- Heinz salad crème
- Milk (fresh or canned)
- Boiled and sliced eggs
- Slice and cube potatoes (I prefer using red potatoes).
- Stir in mixed veggies and salad crème. Alternatively, you can use Lime Mayonesa or Kraft Miracle Whip if you have no Heinz Salad Crème.
- Moisten with milk until creamy.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Garnish with sliced boiled eggs.
If you want to try plantains, here’s how you can make them:
- Get ripe plantains and slice them into long skinny slices.
- Fry the sliced plantains on an iron skillet or grill in margarine, extra virgin coconut oil, or butter.
- Continue frying until both sides are brown.
- Serve plantains with sour cream.