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Haitian Legume

Monday, 26 May 2008


"Legume" may be the general term for beans, but this stew is a hearty mix of marinated beef and vegetables. All the ingredients can be found at any supermarket, but the combination of habanero chiles, thyme and allspice gives this dish the exotic flavor of the Caribbean. Serve it over mounds of rice or with hunks of crusty bread to mop up the spiced broth. Note: this recipe requires advance preparation.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
Side Dish
For the Marinade:

•    1/4 cup chopped parsley
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    1 habanero chile, finely chopped
•    2 tablespoons white vinegar
•    2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
•    Freshly ground pepper, to taste
•    1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces

For the Stew:

•    3 tablespoons canola or olive oil, divided
•    Salt and pepper to taste
•    1/2 onion, chopped
•    1 to 2 habanero chiles, finely chopped
•    2 cloves garlic, minced
•    3 tablespoons tomato paste
•    4 cups low sodium chicken broth (canned or made from bouillon)
•    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
•    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
•    3 to 4 carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
•    1/2 head of cabbage, cored and shredded
•    1 1/2 cups frozen, shelled lima beans
•    2 cups frozen French cut string beans
•    Chopped parsley for garnish


Marinate the meat: Combine the parsley, garlic, habanero, vinegar, oil, pepper and beef in a large bowl. Toss well, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.

Make the stew: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add half of the beef to the pan, season with salt and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove beef and any juices to a plate. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the rest of the beef. Add the browned beef and juices to the plate and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and adjust the heat to medium-high. Add the onion and habanero, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth and return the beef to the pan. Add the thyme and allspice and bring the stew to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the carrots to the stew, replace the lid and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage, lima beans and string beans. Cover and continue cooking for 25 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. Ladle into four bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve.


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