Caribbean Stew:

A prolific writer, Jim Harrison, the poet, hunter and fisherman, novelist, essayist and epicure published a version of this recipe back in 1981. I got it from my new favorite source for different recipes, The New York Times Cooking section. Of course, always looking for “mo betta” , I changed it a bit. As a rule, I am not a big fan of parboiling, preferring to grill meats. For my first attempt I found the stew was flavorful and perfectly cooked but the sauce seemed greasy, so I added a step to separate oils out at the end.


1 ½ lbs. pork spareribs
2 Tbs. neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
3 potatoes, diced bite sized
1/2 cup carrots, diced bite sized
1/2 cup celery sliced cross grain
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 5.5 oz can of V-8
1 Bay Leaf
4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 Andouille sausages, sliced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbs. hot-pepper sauce (to taste)
1 cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium
½ tsp. white sugar or substitute
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Tajin seasoning
½ tsp. chili powder
1 ½ tsp. paprika


  1. Dry rub ribs and grill on indirect heat until they have nice grill marks on all sides. ~ 20 minutes. Cut racking single ribs and set aside in a large bowl. OR you can parboil the ribs with the potatoes and carrots.
  2. Place carrots, potatoes and bay leaf in a medium pot, Place pot over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat slightly, and cook, covered, for 15 or 20 minutes, test for doneness. The vegetables should be firm but not hard, Drain carrots and potatoes, reserving 1 cup of water.Set aside vegetables and discard the bay leaf and remaining water.
  4. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, Add oil to a Dutch oven set over high heat, when the oil begins to shimmer almost smoking, add chicken, skin-side down. Brown both sides about 5 to 7 minutes per side, then add it to the bowl with the ribs. Repeat with the sausages, browning them on all sides for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, then add to the bowl with the chicken and the ribs.
  5. Remove any excess oil. add butter. Cook the onions, celery and garlic in the Dutch oven, stirring occasionally until they soften and begin to brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  7. Add tomato paste, vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce, chicken stock, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder Tajin seasoning and paprika to the butter, onions celery and garlic in the Dutch oven.
  8. Stir to combine, and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots and meats to the Dutch oven tossing them so that everything is well covered with the sauce, then cover, Place in the oven to cook, undisturbed, for approximately 45 minutes. Check liquid amount and consistency, add reserved water, as needed.
  9. Cook for another 45 minutes. The meats should be tender with the ribs, pulling from the bone. The internal temp of the chicken thighs should be 165 degrees before removing from oven.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, remove meats, potatoes and carrots to a serving platter and cover with foil. Use a gravy separator to separate any excess oils in the sauce and pour sauce over the serving platter, discarding any oils.

Serve hot, with nice salad and maybe some sweet corn bread on the side.