Jamaican Dutchy’s Stew Peas Is One of the Best Things I’ve Ever Eaten From A Cart

Photo courtesy of Chez Pim via Twitter

I remember the first time the Jamaican Dutchy’s stew peas entered my radar screen. They’ve been serving it as a Thursday special forever, but it never quite clicked that this was a must try dish until a few months ago. I emailed a former co-worker of mine, who is Jamaican, to ask if she would go with me to Jerk Pan, the newish Jamaican cart on Park Ave. and 48th Street. Her reply:

“Any day but Thursday — it’s Jamaican Dutchy’s ‘stew peas’ special day, LOL”

Really? So this day is blocked off permanently in your calendar. That’s crazy. Maybe it’s about time I tried these “stewed peas”.

If you are not familiar with traditional Jamaican stew peas (clearly I was not) you might be fooled by the name into thinking this is some vegetarian side dish made up of peas.  Well allow me to correct that notion by informing you that real Jamaican stewed peas does contain red kidney beans (or peas, as the Jamaicans call them) but the real star of the show is stewed beef and pig’s tails.  And that is exactly what’s in the Jamaican Dutchy’s version.


You heard me right.  Stewed beef… and pig’s tails!  Now let me point out that this is a horrible bit of Jamaican marketing.  If this dish had been (rightfully) called stewed pig’s tails with beef and peas, I would have never waited 33 years to try it!  I can’t believe I have been missing out on this for so long.  Stew peas!  So misleading.  (And let this be a lesson to everyone.  Never allow your own ignorance to stand in the way of good food!)

As is the case with most of the food at the Jamaican Dutchy, if you are scared of bones- this is probably not the dish for you.  Pig’s tails, in this case, are kind of similar to oxtails- but the bone is smaller, there is less meat, and more fat.  If you don’t like pork fat, I’d also skip this one… but if you do, this pork fat is an amazing treat.  Cooked perfectly, the fat melts in your mouth- or perhaps a more accurate description would be to say “it is incredibly easy to suck this pork fat off the bone”.  For those who like some fat, but aren’t down with a one to one ratio of meat to fat, the stewed beef brings things back towards the meat side.  It’s also amazing tender.  The rice does a great job of sopping the whole thing up, and the plantains add that needed sweet component to the meal.  Mixed with kidney beans and the dumplings it’s as close to a perfect lunch as I’ve had from a cart.

On their website it says $9 for a small, $11 for a large.  I think I got the large, which technically is over the ML price range.  But I’m sure the small is enough for lunch (it always is at the Dutchy.)

Jamaican Dutchy, NE Corner of 51st and 7th Ave.

The Jamaican Dutchy… a Midtown Cart on Island Time


  • Okay. I’m headed over now :)

  • 2 questions: Do you get any marrow out of these pig tails? that’s my favorite part about oxtails.

    Also, tell me more about the Cow Foot in the sign. Anyone tried this?

  • interesting……

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    I LOOOVE Cowfoot soup. Really great! The meat is absolutely creamy. Watch the bones, though, or you’ll break a tooth.

  • Ok, I just ate, but I want “Stew Peas” RIGHT NOW. Wow. One of the few Vendys noms I didn’t try on Saturday and have never eaten.

  • Cool. I never knew stewed peas is like that either. Interesting.

    And I still don’t think Jerk Pan is worth it. But give it a go if you wanna try it. It’s nice to have Jamaican near my office, BUT I rather walk over to Dutchy.

  • The Dutchy is not only the best cart in the city that I’ve tried, and I’ve tried all the big names, but they may be the best $10 lunch period.

    And I have even had the stewed peas yet, can’t wait to try it.

  • Yeah, this is great. Big chunks of beef, some dumplings of some sort (just some oblong doughy things), and the aforementioned pig’s tail. The “stew” is like mashed red kidney beans or something, and wonderfully spiced.

    Mama, I took a picture of the Pig’s tail just for you:


    I put aside my homophobia and put that in my mouth.

    Mamacita, unfortunately they are way to small to suck anything out of it. Against my better judgement, I think you’ll definitely have to use your teeth on that. It does taste good though.

  • LOL, Yup, looks like that bone is too small to suck.

  • speechless..lol

  • Ender – I’m thinking Schnitz has the best $10 lunch.

    Also for the record, I had the small stew peas (no rice) and a spicy beef patty. $9 total.

  • Adam – that styro-container looks like it’s from their Mini Meal, not small? 9 alone is a small order. You must’ve paid 9 for Mini & the patty?

  • That’s what I meant by “small stew peas (no rice)”. Is there something smaller than “small”? I have a menu here, it says “Sm $9.00 Lg $11.00″.

    If what I got was “mini” and the next size up is “small”, I don’t want to know what “large” is…

  • Yea, there is smaller than small, which is Mini (which looks like your container). They make Mini Meals! I have the menu too – Mini Meals, on the right page and on top of Jamaican Special. Small is served in the usual-entree sized containers. I’ve gotten small and it’s a lot of food!
    Large is probably the fat-man’s paradise or to be eaten to two regular folks.

    I think they charged you 2 for the patty and 7 for their Mini. Stew Peas is 7 bucks for the Mini (Looks at yellow menu to confirm and SCORE!) Yay, lunch math rules! I know, I’m a dork. Whatever.

  • yeah okay, so it wasn’t the small, it was the mini. I didn’t notice that.

    Yeah, The mini meal is plenty. that has to be a pound of food alone.

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    I think the dumplings have something to do with cassava or tapioca, but I’m not sure.
    I only had the stewed peas once, small meal, and while it was total amazing, I fell asleep during a credit document negotiation (hard enough to stay awake without eating 2.4 pounds of pig tails, beans, tapioca, fried dumpling plantains and rice. Did I miss anything?

  • Why does Mama sucking on a piggies tail give me Deliverance flashbacks?

  • Stewed Peas Thursdays, the swine is in the back cart…

    Probably the best dish I had from dutchy. Unlike oxtail, you can’t do much with the tail. And the shit looks gross. But the coconut and other flavors are oh so good.

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    They ran out of stew peas and so I tried the cow foot. It was kinda gross, cow feet are pretty much just fat and cartilage. I couldn’t get over the texture, but my chinese co-worker, more familiar with eating animal feet, was thrilled to get my leftovers!

  • I tried this yesterday. It’s amazing! I got the “small” and it was a ton of food. The beef was tender and the pork was porky. The flavors are outstanding. It has a such a homeade feel and it came from a cart! It’s a terrific dish and I highly recommend it to carnivores.

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