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Dominican Chambre: Dominican Legume and Meat Stew

Photo by: Suellen Pineda
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By: Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN

Dominican Chambre stew combines meat, red beans rice and auyama (squash) in hearty and rich stew that is preferably accompanied by sliced avocado. Any other type of legume will do, although red beans and gandules (green pigeon peas) are most commonly used.

As you might have heard eating beans/legumes with rice constitutes what is called a complete protein, meaning the dish contains all essential amino acids needed for our bodies.

For the simplicity of the ingredients and great yield, this recipe is very affordable to feed large crowds. All ingredients can be found at any Hispanic grocery store or bodega.

The process in this recipe is simple and the end result delicious, nutritious and satisfying! It has actually been said that Chambre is best if eaten the next day given that all flavors are more concentrated.

Ingredients & Method

  • 2 Tbsp. of canola oil (1 and 1 separate)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut in two halves
  • 1 15.5-oz. Cans of red beans (aim for low sodium)
  • ½ cup of long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 fresh coriander leaves (also known as recaito/recao)
  • 1 ½ cup of auyama (squash), peeled and cut in small cubes
  • 1 lb. of pork chops, excess fat trimmed and cut in medium pieces
  • 3-4 cups of water (Start with 3 cups, it may more depending on desired consistency)
  • 1 sour orange, juiced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic, dried oregano for about a minute (avoid burning the garlic). Season with salt and pepper.
Add the beans and cook about 3-4 minutes to combine flavors.
Add the water, rice, onions, bay leaf and recaito leaves and correct the salt. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon to avoid scorching. Cook uncovered. (About 10 minutes).
Add the squash about ½ into the rice cooking time. (It will take about an extra 10 minutes for the rice to fully cook and the squash to soften).
While beans and rice are cooking, season the pork chops with salt and pepper and sear (meat will turn golden brown) on both sides on a separate skillet with the remainder oil.
When the rice and squash are cooked, remove onion halves, bay leaf and recaito leaves. Add the meat. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Mix in the sour orange juice for last. Serve with avocado slices on top or on the side. Enjoy!

Note: Other root vegetables such as yucca or green plantains can also be added.

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