Classic Caribbean Beef Cook-Up Rice

Classic Caribbean Beef Cook-Up Rice recipe.
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Two years back we kicked off the New Year with my incredibly tasty Cook Up Rice, loaded with chicken, salted pigtail pieces and black eyed peas for the good luck associated with using it at the start of a new year. While you’ll see similarities with that recipe and the beef version we’re about to make, it will also be apparent that I didn’t follow the sort of traditional rules this time.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

You’ll Need…

1 1/2 lb stewing beef (1 inch pieces)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 large carrot (diced)
1 med tomato (diced)
6 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 medium onion (sliced)
2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 scotch bonnet pepper (sliced)
1 can red kidney beans (rinsed)
3 cups coconut milk
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 tablespoon salt (adjust)
8-10 okra (sliced)
1/2 lb pumpkin (diced)
1/2 lb spinach (chopped)
3 cups bar-boiled brown rice (washed)
8-9 cups water (divided/adjust)

Notes! May I recommend that you follow along with the video below, as much more about the recipe is discussed there. The Scotch Bonnet pepper I used is optional as I like my food a bit spicy. You may use any pepper you like and in the amount you can tolerate. For additional flavor you may add grated ginger and a couple bay leaves when you cook the beef at the start. Frozen peas/carrots/beans can also be added when you add the rice. If making this dish gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to ensure they meet your specific gluten free dietary requirements.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Heat the oil on a medium flame in a wide/heavy pot, then add the pieces of beef and brown. You may want to turn the heat down to med/low (I explained why I didn’t season and marinate the beef prior in the video).

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

After about 8 minutes, add the tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

At this point we’ll add the carrot, onion, garlic, Caribbean Green Seasoning, tomato, black pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and salt. Stir and continue cooking for 3 minutes.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Add the rinsed beans (I used a light color, almost pink bean), stir well, then it’s time to add the coconut milk and 1 cup of water. I used the water to rinse the bowl where I had the coconut milk in. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. This is when you’d add the ginger and bay leaf if you wanted to.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Depending on how large you cut the beef pieces (any cheap cut of beef will work), it may be somewhat tender after one hour and 10 minutes, so it’s time to add the rest of ingredients and bring back to a boil.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

With 3 cups of rice it will yield a lot of food (feeds between 8-10 people) and rather than do the 2-1 ratio (liquid – rice), I went with 7 cups of water. You may need to add more later if you like your cook-up rice on the wet or soggy side.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

20 minutes between a rolling boil and simmer, taste the liquid and adjust the salt to your liking. Determine if the rice is to your fancy (doneness) and keep cooking for another 5-10 minutes.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

This classic one pot Caribbean dish is usually served with a simple salad, slices of ripe avocado and lately it seems people enjoy coleslaw as a side. Don’t forget to have a tall cold glass of Mauby.