This sensational Caribbean hot pot broth is sure to have you thinking of tropical sandy beaches from the first bite. The coconut milk broth is totally packed with flavour – woody thyme, floral bay leaf, golden turmeric and of course, those iconic Caribbean spicy notes from allspice. You can add whatever seasonal vegetables you prefer, but we’ve used carrot and celery to absorb all those strong flavours. Serve this wonderful showstopper with our fiery papaya recipe of Pica sauce on the side, brought to life with zesty ginger, warming cloves and hot scotch bonnet chili. Top tip: stock the table up with jugs of water for any spice novices!
For the Broth, place the ham hocks, onions, carrots and celery in a large stockpot. Cook on a medium heat for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water, chicken stock, chilli pepper and seasonings and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, skimming the fat occasionally.
Remove the cover and simmer for a further 30 minutes, continuing to skim the fat occasionally. Remove the ham hocks and skim the fat again. Whisk in the cornflour with 50ml (2fl oz) of cold water in a small bowl then add to the pot with the coconut milk. Cook on a medium-low to medium heat for a further 30 minutes. Stir in the lime juice into broth.
For the Papaya Pica Sauce, place all the ingredients in a food processor. Process on high speed until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes then pour into medium bowl.
Place the scallops and prawns on plates and place the rest of the garnishes in bowls.
To serve, pour the broth into electric hot pot or preheated slow cooker. Allow guests to cook prawns and scallops in the broth. (Seafood should be cooked for about 5 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.)
Let each guest customize their own bowl. Place some rice in a bowl then ladle the broth and seafood over rice. Stir in some Papaya Pica Sauce and top with the garnishes as desired.
How to preheat a slow cooker and serve at the table: Preheat the slow cooker by filling the insert halfway with boiling water. Cover and heat on HIGH for 45 minutes. Just before serving, empty the slow cooker insert of the hot water. Carefully pour the hot broth into the slow cooker and leave it set on HIGH.
If you can’t get a smoked ham hock use a good ham stock or diced smoked bacon.