Pigeon Peas and Pork Roast Stew


It’s the day after Christmas Eve.

The house looks like a battlefield, it’s a mess everywhere. People in various states of undress pass us by scratching assorted body parts. Lots of yawning. We’re still dizzy from a night of happiness, laughter, lots of food and the occasional argument over something that will be forgotten the next morning.

And there are tons of leftovers. Some will go in the freezer: the tomb of the forgotten food.

Christmas in Dominican Republic

Like many a Dominican, I see “best by” dates as mere suggestions. Food goes to hibernate for long periods of time in the cavern that is our freezer.

It’s a race to see what kills me first: my terribly dysfunctional genes, or my disregard for the calendar.

I inherited both from my mother.

Pigeon Peas and Pork Roast Stew Recipe

I am positive that I am not the only one that suffers from this condition. Many a reader has mentioned this in the past. One called it a “Dominican thing”. I can’t judge all of Dominicans, since I don’t know them all, but I have my suspicions that we believe that for as long as it was frozen/cold it’s OK.

I am lucky I don’t suffer from an “apagones” problem, so I am even more confident that “that pork from December” is not going to kill anyone.


Now you don’t have to wait weeks or months to dispose of some of your leftovers. Save some of the leftover pork to make this simple, rustic, but strong-flavored stew.

The trick is in the wine, which I used to “lift” the flavors. As always I used Holland House, my choice of cooking wines.

Aunt Clara
Pigeon Peas and Pork Roast Stew Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Two ingredients that are obligatory in our Christmas Eve dinner: pigeon peas and pork, in a flavorful rustic pork roast and pigeon peas stew.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 cups of dry guandules (pigeon peas), boiled soft
  • 2 [0.8kg] lbs of leftover pork roast (or 3 lb [1.3 kg] of pork)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of oil for frying
  • 1 cup of Holland House Red Cooking Wine
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cilantro ancho/culantro leaves, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  1. Separate the peas from the water in which they boiled. Reserve both
If you don't have pork roast
  1. Cut the pork into small pieces. Pat dry.
  2. Season with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper.
  3. In a 4 qrt [4 lt] pot heat the oil over high heat. Add the pork (careful with splatters).
  4. Cook and stir until it is browned. Lower heat to low and cover.
  5. Cook for another five minutes, checking often to stir and make sure it does not burn.
  6. Remove from the heat and remove almost all the grease.
  7. Continue with step no. 13
If you have pork roast
  1. Cut the meat into small pieces
  2. Place the pork in a deep-bottom pot, add oil.
  3. Place the pot on the fire over low heat.
  4. When the oil is heated-through add onions and cook and stir until the onions become transparent.
  5. Add the wine and stir for a minute.
  6. Add the pigeon peas, cilantro ancho and garlic. Cook and stir for five minutes.
  7. Add 2 qrt [2 lt] of the liquid in which the peas boiled, completing with enough water if necessary.
  8. Mash the peas lightly with a potato masher. Cover and simmer over medium heat.
  9. When the stew reaches a rolling boil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer covered over low heat for another 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat.
  11. Serve hot with warm rustic bread.
The cooking time does not include soaking the peas overnight.

If you don't find guandules (pigeon peas) you can use mung beans, it's a similar taste.

Holland House Cooking WinesThis recipe and post is sponsored by Holland House cooking wines. I have received products and compensation to create this recipe.

Holland House  offers several premium cooking wines and wine vinegars made with premium ingredients, which are perfect for enhancing the flavor of your dishes with robust flavors and aromas.

The opinions are 100% mine and have not been revised nor altered by the sponsor.

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • MJC January 13, 2013, 12:28 PM

    Do you really only need two cilantro leaves, or is that a typo?

    • Aunt Clara January 13, 2013, 11:08 PM

      It’s not cilantro, cilantro ancho is another herb. Pls. click on the link on the name to see what I am talking about. And yes, two is enough.

  • Amity December 20, 2012, 2:13 PM

    Made this for a snow day this week–with lentils–but otherwise the same. And so good and hearty!!

    • Aunt Clara December 20, 2012, 7:31 PM

      I suggested mung beans, but it didn’t occur to me to use lentils. Good choice.

  • Mari December 20, 2012, 12:57 AM

    Exquisito caldo! Me encanta esto caldos así. Es una muy buena receta para el día después de noche buena.

  • Kankana December 19, 2012, 7:38 PM

    All one might need is some crusty bread to soak up the juice. Beautiful comforting dish!

  • Charlie Sommers December 19, 2012, 3:20 PM

    Another great sounding recipe that I must try soon. I must modify it slightly because I have not seen dried pigeon peas for sale in Nashville but I purchase them often in cans at a local Hispanic Market. They are a good carbohydrate choice for diabetics thanks to their low glycemic index. I think I will also use a dry red wine rather than a cooking wine so I can control the salt content of the dish better. Thanks for posting this Aunt Clara.

    • Aunt Clara December 20, 2012, 7:30 PM

      I find the taste and texture of canned ones different from the dry ones. In any case, the change will be mostly in how it looks.

  • Sandra Paez December 19, 2012, 12:35 PM

    Hay dios mio tia Clara que cosa riiiica!!! Tantos recuerdos de mi infancia. Gracias por todas sus recetas 😉 Usted es la mejor!!!