A fresh look at the Jamaican classic, this brown stew using cauliflower instead of the traditional chicken. Cauliflower is cooked in a fragrant sauce spiced with freshly ground allspice, smoked paprika, and plenty of pepper Vegan-friendly, grain-free, and delicious.
Jamaican Brown Stew Cauliflower [Vegan, Grain-Free]
For the Seasoning:
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pimento berries/seeds allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons carrots, diced
- 2 tablespoons green bell pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons browning (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- Vegetable stock or water
- 2 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons vegan butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
To Sauté Seasoning and Stew:
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining seasonings (onions, pepper, thyme, etc) to pan. Sauté, stirring often until onions are soft (4-5 minutes). Season with pinch of salt and black pepper.
Add tomato paste. Stir to combine and allow to cook for 1 minute. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Deglaze pan by adding red wine to hot pan and scraping the pan around to release all bits stuck to the pan (the stuck bits are called suc). Cook for another minute.
Raise heat to medium-high, then add the cauliflower back to the pan. Add ketchup and bay leaf.
Add enough vegetable stock or water to come up to the sides of the cauliflower without completely covering (1-2 cups). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is fork-tender. (This is where you can easily stick a fork through the cauliflower, but the cauliflower remains on the fork when suspended, rather than quickly sliding off.)
By now, the liquid should have been reduced to a thick sauce. If not, raise heat and allow to reduce for another 3-5 minutes until thickened. Turn off heat, but allow pan to remain on the hot surface. Add butter and allow to dissolve. Gently stir to combine. Serve hot.
To Season Cauliflower:
Cut cauliflower into flat steaks. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, pimento seeds, and smoked paprika. Gently toss to distribute.
Add onion, carrots, bell pepper, garlic, scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, and thyme. Gently toss to distribute.
Drizzle browning to mixture, and with wet fingers, combine until cauliflower is darkened. (Be sure to wash hands thoroughly as the pepper is spicy and can burn skin.)
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably over-night.
To Brown Cauliflower:
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Then add olive oil. Allow oil to heat for 30 seconds.
Separate the cauliflower for the rest of the ingredients. Add cauliflower steaks to hot pan in single layer, making sure to not overcrowd the pan, so that the cauliflower will properly brown. You may have to do it in multiple batches depending on the size of your pan.Allow the cauliflower to brown on one side before turning (3-5 minutes). Turn and repeat on the other side. You may also have to stand the pieces on their heads to ensure the florets also brown.
Remove cauliflower from pan and transfer to a clean plate.
Browning is a common ingredient in the Caribbean that is sold bottled. Check the international aisle of your local grocery store to see if it is available. Otherwise, make your own by adding 1 cup of sugar to a deep pot (this is important because it may bubble and splash). Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The sugar should begin to melt. The syrup should turn dark brown (it will look black) and smoke. If it smokes a lot, turn down the heat. At this point, transfer the pot to your sink and add 1/2 cup water, stirring constantly. Allow to cool before transferring to a jar.