Thoroughly clean crabs with lemon or lime. Please see this link on how to clean crab http://www.bluecrab.info/cbyc.html. Reserve shells if you prefer. Add to a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste with a little bit of lemon juice. Refrigerate until use.
Remove dried Lalo or Jute leaves from packaging and remove any debris. Place in a large bowl and add water with baking soda. Let soak for 30 minutes.
To marinate beef: In a bowl place beef pieces and clean with lemon or vinegar. Rinse under cool water and pat dry. In a clean bowl, add lemon or lime juice, garlic, onion, thyme, scallions, parsley, salt, black pepper, ground cloves, chicken bouillon or beef bouillon and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Strain Lalo and discard water and set aside.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil and add tomato paste. Fry for about 1 – 2 minutes. Add beef and marinade and stir to mix. Add hot pepper or hot sauce. Lower heat.
Add Lalo or Jute leaves to cover meat.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Cover pot with a fitted lid and let cook until beef is cooked thoroughly about 40 – 55 minutes.
Remove aluminum foil and add clean blue crabs to mixture and stir to incorporate.
Cook uncovered until crabs are cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from stovetop, remove hot pepper and serve immediately with rice or root vegetables