Steamed Corned Beef (Fire Engine)

When you hear the words “fire engine” here in the Bahamas chances are we’re referring to (steamed) corned beef and not the literal fire truck, lol. You see, we have a slang term for just about everything and corned beef is no exception.

This is the corned beef that comes in a tin and not the kind that is sliced and used to make those gourmet-looking sandwiches (you know the kind that really looks like beef).

From time and memorial, this dish has been a part of the Bahamian culture and is one of the easiest dishes to prepare (even for those of us who can’t boil water). Steamed corned beef is usually served with white rice for lunch/dinner or with grits for breakfast.

  • 1 tin corned beef (see photo to right)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • thyme (fresh or dried)
  • black pepper

  1. Sauté onions and sweet pepper with oil in a frying pan. 
  2. Add corned beef (make sure the corned beef is broken up)
  3. Stir in tomato paste, and add thyme & a few dashes of black pepper. Ensure that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  4. Serve with white rice or grits.

**Some of us also add diced (cooked) potatoes.