Recipe: Legume With Beef and Turkey


Legumes is a traditional Haitian dish of braised vegetables and meat that is a real crowd pleaser. It’s hearty, healthy and worth the time and effort. The meat used in this recipe is beef and turkey but you can really use any meat including pork, crab, ribs, conch meat and my all time favorite oxtail. The same goes for the veggies. The cooking time is 2 hours and it does require a lot of attention unless you are using a dutch oven, but this dish is a staple in every Haitian home.

This Recipe Is from My Haitian Kitchen:

1 lbs of stew beef
1/2 lbs of turkey necks/steaks
1 large eggplant/ 2 meduim eggplants
2 large chayote squash
1 bag of spinach (10 oz to 16 oz)
1 onion
2 bouillon cubes
1/2 green pepper
1 cup of chopped carrots
1 cup of cilantro
1/2 cup of parsley
2 tablespoons of epis
3 cups of cabbage (rough chop)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 habanero pepper
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 green onion (crushed)
1.5 sour oranges
2 small limes
4.5 tablespoons of oil (any except olive oil)
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
4 cups of beef broth
  1. Juice the limes and set the juice aside. In a medium bowl, cut oranges and rub the beef chunks then rinse with hot water, drain and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl rub the turkey meat with limes, rinse with hot water then drain and put turkey into the same bowl as beef.
  3. Pour in lime juice, add in chopped onions, 1 crushed  bouillon cube, salt, pepper, seasoning salt, crushed garlic cloves, chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of epis(spice blend) and green pepper.
  4. Allow to marinade minimum 1 hour.
  5. Wash and rinse all your veggies beforehand.
  6. Chop the carrots and set aside.
  7. Peel chayote, remove the white oval shaped seed in the center; then chop into cubes and set aside. Remove the skin from the eggplant, chop in half, remove some of the seeds from the eggplant and set aside. This helps reduce the amount of liquid released from the eggplant while in the pot.
  8. Wash and rinse cabbage and rough chop, then set aside.
Let’s get started:
  1. Add oil to a 6 or 8 quart stockpot on medium high temperature. Add in 1 tablespoon of epis and saute for 1 minute then add in strained beef and turkey meat and stir.
  2. Brown the meat, turning over and stirring. After 5 minutes pour in marinade and stir in tomato paste, add in habanero pepper (do no let this break, it will be very hot so watch for the pepper).
  3. Cover and let cook until the water evaporates some.
  4. Do not let it burn. Stir with wooden spoon and add in 1 cup of broth. Do this every 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Once the meat starts to take on a brown color and the water has started to evaporate some more add in 1 cup of broth, top the meat with the chayote, the eggplant, then the cabbage and cover.
  6. Lower temperature to medium and let cook for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, add in rinsed spinach on top and cover.
  8. After 15 minutes, stir in carrots and cover the pot. At this point, the vegetables should start to cook down, the sauce should be getting thicker and the meat should be cooked completely.
  9. Allow the carrots to cook and the sauce to thicken a bit more, approximately 15 minutes.
  10. At this point you want to search for and remove the habanero pepper.
  11. Lower the temperature after 15 minutes to low and serve with rice.
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