Unusual Fact: The singer Rihanna was born and lived in Barbados until she was sixteen then she moved to the USA to pursue her music career
This week we were baking for Barbados. We had some family friends to sample Barbados food Matt and Wendy who also were here for the
Austrian Meal. Barbados is a pretty tiny country with some epic beaches, with a population of 274,200 and thousands of tourists every year you can expect the beaches to be a little full.
Here is a song about Barbados, it is by an Australian band called the Models. It seems to be set in an Australian pub even though it is about Barbados.
This week on the Bajan table we had a Bajan lamb stew, a non alcoholic version of Rum Punch called Lime squash and Pineapple pie.
Firstly the lamb stew. Now I know what you’re thinking, lamb stew, there is no way that lamb stew is traditionally Bajan. Well its not, Barbados has just put its own spin on it. Like the herbs for instance. There are so many different types of herbs in this recipe it has everything from thyme to chilli. It is called Blackbelly lamb stew and we thought that it was called this because of the beetroot in it that made it turn very dark. The flavours in it were amazing, you could taste the beetroot and all the herbs with every mouthful. At the start of cooking this stew, when you caramelise the sugar, after the sugar has melted and you add the meat the sugar sets with the coolness of the meat and it goes hard and sticks to the pan. Don’t worry if this happens to you because it will melt again in its own time. The recipe asks for Bajun seasoning, I found this recipe:
A little Sugar
A little Salt
Combine them all into a food processor and you’re good to go.
I did not combine it in a food processor, I just chopped them each up into tiny pieces and put them in the pan. I did very small amounts of every thing so that it would make up the 2 tsp. Also instead of using an actual chilli I used dried chilli out of the packet. I have noticed that in many of the Caribbean countries they use a lot of thyme, which is great because we don’t use much here in our day to day lives. Finally we could not find any green bananas. They are used as a starch in this recipe, so we used potatoes instead. Do not use yellow bananas as they will not have the same effect.
To the Lime Squash drink, this is the non alcoholic version of the popular drink Rum Punch. It was quite sour at first then we added some more honey. It was avery refreshing and it would be perfect on a hot Bajan summers day.
Last but not least the pineapple pie. This was a perfect ending to our Bajan feast. As a base I did a simple biscuit and butter crust. This pie was exceptionally easy to make and delicious to eat (even though Mum didn’t like it). I did a single amount of both the cream cheese and pineapple syrup layers and a double layer of the actual pineapple. We served it with what was supposed to be coconut ice cream. But the “ice cream” recipe was a failure because the churning did not gain volume and took a lot longer than the normal time to set. We served it as a cream. I suggest that you do serve this pie with cream or ice cream or some thing else because that for me was what made it shine.
BLACKBELLY LAMB STEW
450 g lamb, from the shoulder, cut into 4cm pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
sprigs thyme, leaves picked (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
sprigs marjoram, leaves picked (or ½ tsp dried marjoram)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
2 heaped tsp bajan seasoning,
dashes of pepper sauce, or Tabasco
2 tbsp brown sugar
30 g butter
1 heaped tsp plain flour
1 medium carrot, diced
1 large raw beetroot, diced
3 small green bananas, cut into 3cm chunks
1 bouquet garni, (bay leaf, thyme, marjoram)
1. Wash the lamb and pat dry. Toss with the garlic, herbs, stock cube, onion, celery, Bajun seasoning and pepper sauce.
2. Heat a dry pan and add the sugar. As soon as it caramelises, add the lamb mixture and fry gently for a few minutes.
3. Stir in the butter and flour. Add the carrot, beetroot, green bananas and bouquet garni.
4. Pour over enough water to cover and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lamb is tender. Top up with water during cooking if necessary. Serve with rice.
4 small or 2 medium-size limes 3 tablespoons honey 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) carbonated water (mineral water, club soda, etc.)
For the maximum juice, roll the limes over the counter back and forth with the palm of your hand. Cut the limes in half and juice them by hand or with a juicer. You should have 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of juice. Put the juice and honey into a bowl and mix well with a wire whisk or fork. Pour the mixture into a pitcher. Add the carbonated water and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust it for the desired sweetness. Serve it over ice.
1 Large can pineapple chunks
1 pkg. (envelope) gelatin
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese
Drain pineapple chunks – keep syrup, add water if necessary to make one cup.
Heat syrup and add gelatine, stir till dissolved – divide in half.
To one half add cream cheese and stir over heat till melted and smooth.
Pour into Graham cracker crust and chill until firm.
Place pineapple chunks on top and pour on remainder of syrup to glaze – keep pie chilled.