Jamaican Pork Neck Bones Recipe

Flavorful Jamaican Pork Neck Bones Stew: A Taste of Caribbean Delight!

Jamaican Pork Neck Bones

    Jamaican Pork Neck Bones

  • Cuisine: Jamaican
  • Category: Main Course
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 400 calories

About this recipe

Jamaican pork neck bones are a delightful and flavorsome part of the pig that's widely used in traditional Jamaican cooking.

These bones are exactly what they sound like – the bony section of the neck, and they're a bit tougher compared to some other cuts of pork. But don't let that put you off because the magic lies in how they're cooked!

In Jamaica, they're cherished for their rich and meaty taste that comes out when you cook them low and slow. The secret to unlocking their full potential is in the seasoning and spices, which is where Jamaican cuisine truly shines.

The island's vibrant flavors take center stage with ingredients like aromatic curry powder, zesty scotch bonnet peppers, fragrant thyme, and other spices that add layers of goodness.

Cooking up a pot of Jamaican pork neck bones usually involves turning them into a delectable stew. You start by browning the bones to bring out their deep flavors, then tossing in some onions, garlic, and fiery Scotch bonnet peppers for that unmistakable kick.

Next comes a mix of tomatoes, thyme, and green onions, followed by a tantalizing combination of coconut milk, Jamaican curry powder, and a dash of soy and Worcestershire sauce.

The real magic happens as you let everything simmer away slowly, allowing the flavors to meld and the pork neck bones to become tender and juicy. The result is a lip-smacking stew that's hearty, comforting, and full of island flair.

You can pair it with some fluffy white rice, fried plantains, or the classic Jamaican rice and peas to complete the feast.

One thing to remember, though – be mindful of the Scotch bonnet pepper! These little guys pack quite a punch, so handle them with care or even use gloves. You don't want to accidentally set your mouth on fire!

Jamaican pork neck bones are a true Caribbean delight that captures the soul of the island's cuisine. It's all about slow-cooking, bold flavors, and a generous helping of love that'll make your taste buds dance with joy. So, if you're in the mood for an authentic Jamaican experience, don't miss out on these fantastic pork neck bones!

Recipe origin and background

The origin of the Jamaican pork neck bones recipe can be traced back to Jamaica's rich culinary heritage, which is a fusion of various influences, including African, Spanish, British, and Indian cuisines.

Historically, Jamaica was a major hub in the transatlantic slave trade, with enslaved Africans being brought to the island to work on sugar plantations. The enslaved Africans brought with them their culinary traditions and cooking techniques, which heavily influenced Jamaican cuisine.

Pork was a popular meat among the enslaved population because it was more affordable and accessible than other meats. As a result, various parts of the pig, including pork neck bones, became an integral part of Jamaican cooking.

The method of slow-cooking tough cuts of meat, like pork neck bones, can be traced back to the traditional African cooking techniques, where slow simmering allowed for tenderizing and infusing the meat with flavors.

Over time, Jamaicans developed their unique seasoning blends and cooking styles, resulting in the flavorful and spicy dishes that are now synonymous with Jamaican cuisine.

Furthermore, the introduction of Indian and Chinese immigrants to Jamaica in the 19th century further enriched the island's culinary landscape. These immigrants brought with them their own spices and cooking techniques, which were incorporated into Jamaican dishes, adding even more depth to the flavors.

The use of curry powder in Jamaican recipes, including the pork neck bones stew, is influenced by the Indian presence on the island. Jamaican curry powder typically contains a mix of spices such as turmeric, coriander, cumin, and fenugreek, creating a distinct and aromatic flavor.

Over time, Jamaican pork neck bones stew, along with other traditional dishes, has become an integral part of Jamaican culture and culinary identity. It is now enjoyed not only in Jamaica but also by people around the world who appreciate the bold and vibrant flavors of Jamaican cuisine.

Why try this Jamaican Pork Neck Bones recipe?

You should definitely try the Jamaican pork neck bones recipe for several delicious reasons:

  1. Bold and Unique Flavors: Jamaican cuisine is renowned for its bold and vibrant flavors, and this recipe is no exception. The combination of aromatic spices, including Jamaican curry powder and thyme, along with the heat from Scotch bonnet peppers, creates a taste sensation that is truly unique and exciting.
  2. Tender and Succulent Meat: Despite being a tougher cut of meat, pork neck bones turn incredibly tender and juicy when slow-cooked. The long cooking process allows the flavors to infuse the meat, resulting in a satisfying and mouthwatering texture.
  3. Authentic Jamaican Experience: Trying this recipe will give you a taste of authentic Jamaican cuisine, which is a delightful blend of African, Spanish, British, and Indian influences. It's a chance to explore the cultural richness of the Caribbean island through its food.
  4. Hearty and Comforting: Jamaican pork neck bones stew is a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for warming you up on a chilly day or satisfying your cravings for a comforting meal.
  5. Easy to Make: While the flavors may seem complex, the recipe itself is relatively simple and straightforward. With some basic cooking skills and the right ingredients, you can easily recreate this delicious Jamaican dish in your own kitchen.
  6. Impressive and Unique Dish: If you're looking to impress your family or guests with a unique and flavorful dish, Jamaican pork neck bones stew is an excellent choice. It's not a dish you come across every day, making it a memorable addition to your culinary repertoire.
  7. Versatile: You can serve Jamaican pork neck bones stew with various accompaniments, such as rice, plantains, or traditional Jamaican rice and peas. Its versatility allows you to customize the meal according to your preferences.
  8. Food Adventure: Trying new dishes from different cultures is like embarking on a culinary adventure. It broadens your palate and introduces you to exciting and exotic flavors you might not have experienced before.

So, give this Jamaican pork neck bones recipe a go and immerse yourself in the rich and flavorful world of Jamaican cuisine. Whether you're a fan of spicy food or simply enjoy exploring new tastes, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Enjoy the journey and the delicious rewards!

What does Jamaican Pork Neck Bones taste like?

The taste of Jamaican pork neck bones can be described as rich, flavorful, and deeply satisfying. These bones are known for their succulent and tender meat, which becomes even more pronounced after slow-cooking or stewing.

When cooked properly, the pork neck bones absorb the aromatic blend of spices and seasonings commonly used in Jamaican cuisine. The key players in the flavor profile often include Jamaican curry powder, garlic, onions, thyme, and the unmistakable heat of Scotch bonnet peppers (or habanero peppers).

The slow-cooking process allows the flavors to infuse the meat thoroughly, resulting in a dish that is both savory and slightly spicy. The presence of coconut milk adds a creamy and rich element, balancing out the heat from the peppers and enhancing the overall taste.

The meat itself is relatively fatty, which contributes to its mouthwatering and tender texture. As the bones cook down, they release their natural gelatin, adding a pleasant thickness and richness to the stew.

The combination of spices, the natural sweetness of onions and tomatoes, and the slight creaminess from the coconut milk create a harmonious blend of flavors that excites the taste buds with every bite.

What is in Jamaican Pork Neck Bones?

  • Pork Neck Bones: These are the bony section of the pig's neck, known for their rich and flavorful meat.
  • Vegetable Oil: Used for sautéing the onions and garlic, adding some moisture and flavor to the dish.
  • Onion: Provides a sweet and savory base for the stew, adding depth to the flavors.
  • Garlic: Adds aromatic and pungent notes to the dish, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper (or Habanero Pepper): A hot and spicy chili pepper that's quintessential to Jamaican cuisine, known for its fiery kick.
  • Tomatoes: Adds a tangy and slightly sweet taste to balance the spiciness of the dish.
  • Thyme: An aromatic herb that infuses the stew with a delightful fragrance and taste.
  • Green Onions: Also known as scallions, these provide a mild onion flavor and a pop of color to the dish.
  • Water: Used to create the base liquid for the stew.
  • Coconut Milk: Adds a creamy and tropical element, characteristic of many Caribbean dishes.
  • Jamaican Curry Powder: A blend of spices that includes turmeric, cumin, coriander, and other aromatic ingredients, giving the dish its distinct Jamaican flavor.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Seasonings that enhance the taste and balance the flavors.
  • Potatoes: Adds a hearty and starchy component to the stew.
  • Carrot: Provides a touch of sweetness and color to the dish.
  • Bell Pepper: Adds a fresh and crisp taste, along with a vibrant color contrast.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: A savory condiment that imparts a rich umami flavor to the stew.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds depth and a hint of saltiness to the dish.

Equipment required for this recipe

  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven: This is used for browning the pork neck bones and simmering the stew. If you don't have a large pot or Dutch oven, you can use a deep skillet or a slow cooker as a substitute.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: Essential for chopping and preparing the vegetables and other ingredients. Ensure your knife is sharp for easier and safer slicing.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: Used for stirring and mixing the ingredients in the pot.
  • Paper Towels: For patting dry the pork neck bones before cooking.
  • Pressure Cooker (Optional): While not necessary, a pressure cooker can significantly reduce the cooking time for the pork neck bones, making them tender in a shorter period.
  • Gloves (Optional): When handling the Scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero pepper), wearing gloves can protect your hands from the spicy oils.
  • Serving Dish and Utensils: For serving the stew when it's ready to enjoy.

How to make Jamaican Pork Neck Bones

Discover the vibrant flavors of Jamaican cuisine with our delicious pork neck bones stew. A hearty and spicy Caribbean delight in every bite!


  • 2 lbs (about 1 kg) pork neck bones
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero pepper), whole or chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  1. Rinse the pork neck bones thoroughly under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and Scotch bonnet pepper. Be cautious when handling the Scotch bonnet pepper, as it is very spicy. You can use gloves to protect your hands.
  4. Add the pork neck bones to the pot and brown them on all sides.
  5. Mix in the Jamaican curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Make sure the pork is coated evenly with the spices.
  6. Pour in the water and coconut milk. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil.
  7. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the pork neck bones are tender and almost falling off the bone. You can also use a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking process.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes, thyme, and green onions to the pot. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and bell pepper. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  10. Add the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce for an extra kick of flavor. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs before serving.

How to serve Jamaican Pork Neck Bones

  1. Prepare Your Accompaniments: Before serving the stew, you'll want to prepare your choice of accompaniments. Classic options include white rice, Jamaican rice and peas, or fried plantains. Cook the rice according to the package instructions or follow a specific recipe for Jamaican rice and peas. If you're making fried plantains, slice ripe plantains and pan-fry them until they are golden brown on each side.
  2. Garnish: Before dishing out the stew, consider adding a fresh and colorful garnish on top. Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro can add a burst of freshness to the rich flavors of the stew.
  3. Serve: Once the stew is cooked to perfection, it's time to serve! Use a ladle to portion the stew into individual serving bowls. Make sure each bowl has a good amount of tender pork neck bones and plenty of the savory broth.
  4. Accompanying Sides: Place a scoop of your chosen side dish, such as rice or fried plantains, next to the bowl of stew. These sides will complement the flavors of the stew and provide a satisfying and well-rounded meal.
  5. Enjoy: Gather around the table and dig in! Enjoy the delicious Jamaican pork neck bones stew alongside the flavorful accompaniments. Feel free to savor each bite slowly, taking in the rich and aromatic flavors that the slow-cooked stew has to offer.
  6. Adjust Spice Level: Keep in mind that the stew may have some heat from the Scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero pepper). If you find the stew too spicy, you can balance the heat by serving it with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt on top. The creamy dairy will help mellow the spiciness.
  7. Leftovers: If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The flavors will continue to meld and develop, making the leftovers even more flavorful the next day.
  8. Jamaican pork neck bones stew is a wonderful dish that embodies the warmth and hospitality of Caribbean cuisine. With the right accompaniments and a sprinkle of love, it's sure to be a hit at your table. Enjoy the flavors, and savor the taste of Jamaica!

Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 885 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Jamaican Pork Neck Bones, Jamaican Pork Neck Bones Recipe, Recipe, Easy, Homemade, Top rated

What to serve Jamaican Pork Neck Bones with

Jamaican pork neck bones stew pairs well with a variety of delicious side dishes that complement its bold flavors. Here are some popular options to serve alongside the stew:

  1. Rice: Steamed white rice is a classic and simple choice. Its neutral flavor balances the spiciness of the stew, allowing the savory flavors to shine. Alternatively, you can serve Jamaican rice and peas, where rice is cooked with coconut milk, kidney beans, and aromatic seasonings for a delightful Caribbean twist.
  2. Fried Plantains: Sweet and ripe plantains, sliced and fried until golden and caramelized, provide a delightful contrast to the savory stew. The sweetness of the plantains complements the spicy notes of the dish.
  3. Cabbage Slaw: A refreshing and crunchy cabbage slaw with a tangy vinaigrette adds a bright and fresh element to the meal, creating a balance between the stew's richness and the slaw's zesty flavors.
  4. Steamed Vegetables: Lightly steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, or carrots, add color and nutrition to the plate. The tender-crisp veggies are a great way to offset the heartiness of the stew.
  5. Fried Dumplings: Also known as "Johnny Cakes" or "Festival," these fried dough treats are a popular side in Jamaican cuisine. They are slightly sweet and add a delightful crunch to the meal.
  6. Boiled Yams or Sweet Potatoes: Boiled yams or sweet potatoes provide a starchy and filling side that complements the stew's flavors and adds a hint of natural sweetness.
  7. Cassava or Plantain Fufu: Fufu is a starchy side dish made from boiled and pounded cassava or green plantains. It has a smooth and dough-like consistency and can be used to scoop up the flavorful stew.
  8. Macaroni and Cheese: A Caribbean-style macaroni and cheese with a creamy, cheesy sauce can be a delightful addition to the meal, adding comfort and indulgence.
  9. Side Salad: A fresh side salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tangy dressing provides a light and refreshing contrast to the robust flavors of the stew.

Feel free to mix and match these sides based on your preferences and what you have available. Jamaican cuisine embraces a variety of flavors and textures, making it easy to find the perfect accompaniments to complement the delicious Jamaican pork neck bones stew. Enjoy the feast!

My recommendations and tips

  1. Fresh and Quality Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh and high-quality ingredients for the best results. Fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs, and quality pork neck bones will contribute to the overall flavor of the dish.
  2. Adjust Spice Level: Jamaican cuisine is known for its spiciness, especially with the use of Scotch bonnet peppers. If you prefer a milder dish, consider using less of the pepper or removing the seeds and membrane before adding it to the stew. You can also adjust the amount of Jamaican curry powder to suit your taste preferences.
  3. Low and Slow Cooking: For tender and succulent pork neck bones, simmer the stew on low heat for a longer duration. This slow-cooking process allows the flavors to meld, and the meat to become tender and infused with the seasonings.
  4. Skim Fat (Optional): If you prefer a leaner stew, you can skim off any excess fat that rises to the surface during cooking. This step is optional but can reduce the richness of the dish.
  5. Customize Vegetables: Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the stew or substitute them based on what you have on hand. Bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, and other root vegetables work well with the dish.
  6. Make Ahead: Jamaican pork neck bones stew often tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to develop. Consider making it a day ahead and reheating it before serving.
  7. Experiment with Accompaniments: While rice and fried plantains are traditional accompaniments, don't be afraid to get creative with side dishes. Try different grains, legumes, or salads to complement the stew.
  8. Double the Recipe: If you have a large group or want leftovers, consider doubling the recipe. Stews generally freeze well and can be enjoyed later.
  9. Be Cautious with Scotch Bonnet Peppers: When handling Scotch bonnet peppers, be careful not to touch your face or eyes as the oils can cause irritation. Consider using gloves while chopping or handling them.
  10. Taste and Adjust: Throughout the cooking process, taste the stew and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or spices to achieve your desired flavor profile.

Potential ingredients substitutes

  • Pork Neck Bones: If you can't find pork neck bones, you can use other cuts of pork with bones, such as pork shoulder or pork ribs. These cuts will also become tender and flavorful when slow-cooked.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper (or Habanero Pepper): If you can't find Scotch bonnet peppers, you can substitute them with other hot peppers like habanero peppers or jalapeño peppers. Adjust the amount according to your spice preference.
  • Jamaican Curry Powder: If you don't have Jamaican curry powder, you can make your own by combining ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground fenugreek, and a pinch of ground allspice. Alternatively, regular curry powder can be used as a substitute.
  • Coconut Milk: If you're not a fan of coconut milk or don't have it on hand, you can replace it with heavy cream or a mixture of milk and a tablespoon of coconut extract for a milder coconut flavor.
  • Green Onions: If green onions (scallions) aren't available, you can use regular onions instead. The taste may be slightly different, but it will still work well in the recipe.
  • Thyme: If you don't have fresh thyme, you can use dried thyme. Remember that dried herbs are more potent, so use about half the amount of dried thyme compared to fresh thyme.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: If you don't have Worcestershire sauce, you can use soy sauce or oyster sauce as a substitute. These alternatives will add some umami flavor to the stew.
  • Soy Sauce: Tamari sauce or liquid aminos can be used instead of soy sauce if you prefer a gluten-free option.
  • Vegetable Oil: Any neutral oil, such as canola oil or sunflower oil, can be used as a substitute for vegetable oil.
  • Potatoes, Carrots, and Bell Pepper: Feel free to customize the vegetables according to your taste and what you have on hand. You can add other root vegetables like sweet potatoes or yams, and colorful bell peppers, zucchini, or even okra to the stew.

What more?

Embrace the culinary adventure of Jamaican cuisine with our mouthwatering pork neck bones recipe. Indulge in the bold flavors of the Caribbean and savor every delightful bite. Try it now and bring the taste of Jamaica to your table!

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