Story by Robin Richards, sharing hislove for Plo
Every place has a dish that is forever associated with that place. For me, Plo is that Saint dish. It is so deeply linked to island life, it would be the one thing every Saint could make. Other that being a simple and straight forward to make, its versatility means it can be made just about anywhere – at home, in a field or on the rocks.
It is a kind of social community dish. So much a part of island life that if you were having a gathering (day’s out), you would ‘throw in’ something for a pot of Plo. Someone would be responsible for making it (or sometimes a few people), someone would have a large enough pot, someone would bring the rice, another some veg, and so on. Normally together you would make a sloppy Plo (being the more common consistency) and if you were lucky, or there was enough, you might get the burned bit at the bottom of the pot. Which always tastes great.
A good sloppy Plo is my favorite, with a nice bit of Veg. My brother made the best sloppy Plo I’ve ever tasted. It is special because of what it means to Saint culture, and for this link.
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How to make Plo
St Helena Plo
- 450 g Beef (or Chicken/Piece Bacon/Fish (Saints use Tuna, but any meaty Fish works)
- 225 g Rice
- 4 Potatoes (Chopped)
- 1 Onion (Chopped)
- ½ Cabbage (Chopped) Optional
- 2 Carrots (Chopped) Optional
- 2 Pumpkin (Small slices chopped) Optional
- 1 Tomato (Chopped) Optional
- 1 tbsp Medium Curry Powder (Heaped)
- 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- Tomato Sauce (or Tomato Ketchup)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Heat oil and fry Onion until starting to brown.
- Add curry powder, sugar and a dash of tomato sauce. Cook for about a minute.
- Add your choice of Meat. Add enough water to cover the Meat. Simmer until Meat is half cooked and brown on all sides. If making a Fish Plo, it is added later – see step 8. If making a vegetable Plo, just ignore this step.
- Add chopped vegetables. Add sufficient water to cover all ingredients. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the rice and season to taste with salt and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to taste.
- Cover and bring to the boil and simmer gently until the water has evaporated and the meat and vegetable are all cooked. Be sure to stir regularly to avoid sticking to bottom of the pot. Add more water if necessary.
- If make a Fish Plo, once Rice is about 5 mins from being cooked, stir in the chunks of Fish.
- Plo is done once the Rice is completely cooked. Enjoy while hot. Or its just as tasty the next day as well. Robin likes some mayo with his and Emma-Jane like her’s with Salad Cream.
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