The Best Dombré EVER – Caribbean “Pig Ears Dumplings”

Dombré is this amazing dish from the French Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique). You usually cook dombré with red kidney beans and parts of pork such as the mouth or tails.

dombré with pig ears

dombré in a cast iron casserole

Dombré (or dumplings) is an exciting dish as it includes the whole history of the colonization of the Caribbean by Europeans and their overall integration of black, Indians etc. The word itself “dombré” is a creolized version of “dumpling.” Another funny word that shows the influence of English, French and Spanish in the Caribbean is “MEWE.” In Guadeloupe, people use “MEWE” to describe someone who did not go to school (went to play instead). MEWE is the creolized version of “my way.” 

Key ingredients of dombré

I will cook dombré with pig ears in this recipe and use Pinto beans instead of red kidneys. The bean is very popular in Latin America and has remarkable nutritional properties. It’s an excellent source of fiber and a rich antioxidant. Moreover, the texture gives your whole dombré a look and feel of french cassoulet. 

Flour gives the filling aspect of dombré and allows people to stay strong all day long. “True in folkloric songs dombré is praised as a food that keeps people strong.” 

Parts like pig ears or mouth or tail provide the succulent flavors needed for this dish.
Finally, we use spices, especially bonnet chili, because any Caribbean dish that does not exult spice is not considered a Caribbean dish.  

Where to find Pig ears?

You can find pig ears in oriental stores (Chinese, Korean…). Chinese stores sell preserved pig mouths and tails, the original ingredients used to make dombré. Hence, the recipe in creole is “dombré E GUEL/KE A KOCHON.” I found the pig ears in a Korean store. You need to boil the ears for about one and Half hours the day before you cook the dombré. That way, your cooking time of the recipe will be shorter. Besides, after you cook the ears, you can put them in the freezer and use them as you see fit.

Handling of the beans.

Pinto beans or even red kidney beans are tough to handle. Unless you have a pressure cooker, it could take you ages to cook these beans. A solution is to soak these beans in water the day before (e.g., before you go to bed) or at least 3hours before use.

The ingredients to cook dombré (four portions)

❣️ 200g of Pinto beans or red kidney beans
❣️ 100g of smoke bacon lardon
❣️ 200g of cooked pig ear or mouth or tail
❣️ 1 big yellow onion
❣️ 4 cloves of garlic
❣️ 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
❣️ Half teaspoon of mild curry powder
❣️ 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
❣️ 3 tablespoons of white wine
❣️ 1 teaspoon of salt
❣️ Half teaspoon of black pepper powder
❣️ 1 whole bonnet chill pepper
❣️ 1 and a half-liter of water

Ingredients for doughs

❣️ 300g of bread flour
❣️ 150ml of water

Preparation and cooking steps

Preparation steps

– Pre-soak the beans in cold water for 3 hours
– Dice the onion
– Chop the garlic
– Chop the pig ears into 1to 1.5cm size cubes
– Mix the flour and water to make a smooth dough and set for 30 minutes
– Roll the dough into a skinny tail shape and cut it into thumb size pieces; flatten each piece with the palm of your hand

Cooking steps

– Heat-up a pot, add the olive oil, and fry the chopped onion at low heat for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and transparent.
– Add the garlic, then fry for 5 seconds.
– Follow with the lardon and fry until slightly golden in color.
– Add the herbs, pepper, and curry powder frying for a few seconds.
– Pour the wine and fry for 10 seconds.
– Add the beans and water, then bring to a boil and simmer for an hour.
– Add the pig ears boil for 5 minutes.
– Put the dombré/dumplings and boil for 10 minutes.
– Add the salt (1 teaspoon)
– Add the whole chili and boil for another 5 to 8 minutes (Note: please do not break the chili)
– Take out the chili
– Add the salt to your taste and serve

Full Cooking Video

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