Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jamaica: Pork in Allspice and Ital Rice & Peas

Today, I started to explore some Caribbean recipes for the "Cook Around the Globe" event. I am finally going to prepare some recipes from my Caribbean cookbook "Culinaria - The Caribbean. A Culinary Discovery". I have owned this cookbook for over ten years. From time to time I would flip through it and look at some recipes but I never got around to actually cook anything from it. I found this really great sounding recipe for pork in allspice - and I just had to try it out. Allspice is one of my favorite spices, and I love pork. What a great combination. I greatly enjoyed preparing and eating this dish and the recipe goes right into the "make it again" box. The side dish of rice & peas is from a chapter about Rastafari cuisine in the book. It is basically a vegetarian diet, and also avoids eggs, salt, white flour, processed foods. Hmmmm, no salt. Ok, I really wanted to make this side dish but I couldn't bring myself to leave out the salt. A salt-free diet is something one has to get used to by slowly decreasing the amount of salt in one's food. I actually cooked the beans without salt but they were way too bland for my taste. To make it more authentic, I might try to add lime juice to the beans for cooking to give them some taste. That might be a good compromise. Well, anyway, what I was trying to get at is that, although "rice & beans" are a classic combination, this particular variety is usually not eaten with pork. Also, the cooking times given in the original recipe seemed way off. I cooked the beans much shorter than indicated and they still turned mushy when they were cooke with the rice. Next time, I will cook rice and beans separately and mix them when they are done.

This recipe will be linked to the "Cook Around the Globe" - August 2011 event.


Pork in Allspice
2 thick bone-in country style pork ribs
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 brown sugar
1 medium onion, minced
1 garlic clove,  minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tbsp snipped chives
2-3 dashes cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp allspice
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
100 ml coconut cream
1/2 tbsp rum or rum extract

Ital Rice & Peas
180 g (1 cup) dried black eye peas
250 ml coconut milk
1/4 tsp dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
200 g (1 cup) rice
juice of 1 lime

Soak the black eye peas in water over night, drain. Bring 500 ml water to a boil, then add peas and simmer for about 1 hour (for my peas, 30 minutes would have been enough!) until they are soft. Add coconut milk, thyme, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add the rice and simmer until all liquid is gone and the rice is soft, adding more boiling water if necessary. Just before serving, add the lime juice and a little margarine, and loosen rice with a fork. For the pork, cut the meat off the bones. Cut the meat into 3/4 inch cubes. In a small sauce pan, cover bones with water and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from heat. In a skillet, heat the oil, add the sugar and let caramelize. Add meat and brown on all sides. Add onion, garlic, thyme, chives, chili, and salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add allspice and cook for 5 minutes. Add enough pork broth to cover the meat, let simmer for 15 minutes. Add vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes. Add coconut cream and let simmer for 1 hour. Add more broth if necessary. Immediately before serving, add the rum. Serve with rice & black eyed peas.


  1. That looks really awesome! I'll have to bookmark this recipe, for sure!

  2. I've had pork in allspice once and it was completely different than yours. I loved it, so I will definitely be trying this one. Sounds wonderful!

  3. Your dish looks good and today was fun participating in your Cook Around the Globe. I'm looking forward to seeing where we go next month.

    Cook Lisa Cook