Chambre (Legumes and Meat Stew) combines rice, legumes, meat, vegetables, and tubers in a dish that is a complete meal in itself, and it's very comforting.
It's fair to say that I have learned as much from my readers' comments and emails throughout these years than I may have taught them. And I have discovered a treasure trove of new dishes in our cuisine that I did not know existed prior to my starting to write about Dominican cooking.
A million thanks for that
This hearty stew, seemingly created to get rid of all of a week's leftovers, or to get the home cook a respite by combining almost all of the Dominican traditional lunch in one single pot, was unknown to me until my readers brought it to my attention.
Luckily, I quickly got hold of a few friends that were well-acquainted with Chambre and shared their recipes with me. I have been told it's also known as "Chapea" in other parts of the country.
As it almost always happens, everyone had a different recipe, born out their own family traditions. As I usually do, I settled for the one I liked best. This is it.
I hope you love it as much as I did.
Chambre Recipe (Dominican Legumes and Meat Stew)
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 lb . of longaniza (Dominican spicy pork sausage) cut into slices
- 1 lb of smoked pork chops , diced
- 1 cubanelle (cubanela) pepper, diced
- A pinch of oregano
- 1 small onion , diced
- 1 teaspoon of garlic , mashed
- 1 cup of red kidney beans , boiled soft and drained
- 1 cup of pigeon peas , boiled soft and drained
- 1 carrot , diced
- 1 lb . of sweet potato (batata) cut into cubes
- 1 lb . de auyama (West Indies pumpkin) cut into cubes
- 1 qt [1 lt] of water
- 1/2 cup of rice
- 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (or more to taste)
- In a deep-bottomed pot heat the oil over medium heat.
- Cook and stir the sausage and pork until they brown. Stir in cubanela, oregano, onion and garlic, cook and stir until onion becomes translucent. Stir in beans, pigeon peas, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin and cook and stir for a minute. Pour in water. When it breaks the boil add the rice and cilantro, stir. Cover the pot.
- Cook over medium heat until the rice is tender and the grains have doubled in size. Stir frequently to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with avocado slices.