GUYANESE PEPPERPOT

Just wasting time/relaxing

It’s Christmas eve.   And while the rest of Atlanta is hustling about, making last minute purchases-I have time to sit, drink wine and write a blog post. Why? Because I’ve finished all of my tasks ahead of time. Not to say that I don’t have anything to do today, but I can do it with leisure.  While tipsy. What’s left to do? 1.  Bake Bread 2. Vacuum 3.  Mop 4.  Drink eggnog Ahhhh…life!!  Now on to my Pepperpot recipe. This is a must have at Christmas in every Guyanese household.  I’ve never gone a Christmas without having a bowl of Pepperpot and homemade bread for breakfast.  That’s just the way it is, no exceptions. For those unfamiliar with Pepperpot, I will give a brief lesson on this stew.  Pepperpot is the national dish of Guyana, which was originally made by the Amerindians, who used cassareep  to preserve meat without using refrigeration.  That’s right, this stew can sit out of the fridge as long as you heat it daily.    Cassareep, which is the main component of Pepperpot,  is a dark syrup that is made from cassava.  A variety of meats are stewed with the cassareep, hot pepper and spices such as cinnamon and cloves, the result is a deep, dark, flavorful stew that goes well with bread.

My mom’s beautiful bread from last Christmas

The traditional way of serving this would be with Cassava bread, but I like plain ol’ homemade bread.  Our Pepperpot is not to be mistaken with the Pepperpot of Jamaica and other Caribbean islands; if it isn’t made with cassareep,  it isn’t Guyanese Pepperpot!! As I leave you today, I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

GUYANESE PEPPERPOT

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. pork ( with bone), cut into pieces
  • 2 lb stew beef , cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb. cow foot
  • 1/2 lb salted beef, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 salted pig tail, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup genuine cassava cassereep
  • a few wiri wiri peppers or 1 scotch bonnet if you can't fnd wiri wiri
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, or salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • Lime juice or vinegar
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 pieces orange peel
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Trim excess fat off meat and soak in vinegar for about 15 to 30 minutes. Puree garlic, onion and thyme. Marinate fresh meat with marinade and 1/3 cup of cassareep.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pressure cooker, place pickled pork and salted beef and pressure for a 10. Discard the water and set meat aside.
  3. Wash cow foot thoroughly by soaked in vinegar for about half an hour. Rinse. Place in pressure cooker and pressure for 20 minutes or until tender. Discard water. *If the cow heel isn't soft after 20 minutes, continue to pressure in 5 minute intervals , checking for tenderness.
  4. In a stock pot, cook beef and pork in marinade until all liquid evaporates. Add the cow foot, pickled pork, salted beef, sugar and remaining cassereep with a stick of cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and enough water to cover. If the stew is brown, add more cassareep to attain a deep, dark color.
  5. Cook slowly until tender. Add pepper and salt to taste. This meal tastes better the next day, so it is best when made a day ahead. To serve this meal, warm and serve with bread.
http://jehancancook.com/2010/12/just-in-time-for-christmas/

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39 Comments

  1. December 24, 2010 / 11:37 am

    Slightly different from my recipe but sounds just as delicious!

  2. December 26, 2010 / 4:18 pm

    Drinking wine sounds perfect to me, happy holidays to you = )

  3. December 26, 2010 / 8:02 pm

    Hi Jehan,

    I wanted to wish you Merry Christmas, I hope Santa was good to you this year 🙂 Your pepperpot looks delicious! I put up my dads recipe as well on my blog. Its so strange how everyone makes pepperpot differently, but no matter what its a must have on Christmas morning!

    Alica

  4. JehanP
    December 27, 2010 / 10:01 am

    Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well. I just check out you recipe and I didn’t use any orange peel in mine because I forgot to buy lol. And I just realized I forgot to add the clove and orange peel to the recipe…oops lol. Good thing I checked out your blog. I will update my recipe and add cloves and orange peel. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays.

  5. Loreen Khan
    December 31, 2010 / 3:30 pm

    I would loveto have the recipe for the bread. I love the pepper pot.

  6. JehanP
    December 31, 2010 / 3:35 pm

    I will have to ask my mom for that bread recipe, but this year I made a challah and it was great with the pepperpot! It was sturdy enough to withstand the pepperpot without falling apart.

  7. May 31, 2011 / 2:07 pm

    Why are you discarding the water? That is the best part of the flavor…

  8. December 22, 2011 / 10:35 am

    Is there a recipe for the cassava bread?

  9. JehanP
    December 22, 2011 / 11:59 am

    No I don’t have a cassava bread recipe.

  10. Anita
    December 28, 2011 / 3:28 pm

    Can you please Share your recipe for your mom bread, it reminds me of guyana bread.. look so yummy …thank you… Anita:)

  11. May
    December 18, 2012 / 2:01 pm

    Hello there Jehan! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    My boyfriend is Guyanese and I’ve been trying to surprise him with Pepperpot for a while now. But, he doesn’t eat pork and he just gave up red meat. Pepperpot is his absolute favorite. Is there an alternative meat, like chicken, that I can use instead of red meat?

    Thank you so much!

  12. JehanP
    December 18, 2012 / 3:46 pm

    Hi May, I’ve never had properly with chicken or heard of it being made that way . I don’t think that it will be remotely close to the traditional .

  13. Bev H
    December 24, 2012 / 6:18 pm

    Hello there! I’m late to this party but I’m delighted to find you. I’ve just been sampling my mum’s pepperpot in advance of tomorrow’s Christmas breakfast. I also had my first garlic pork of the season earlier – just to sample it you understand.
    Anyway, I showed your recipe to my mum, it is not entirely the same as hers but it meets with hearty approval. Mum even confessed that her own recipe should contain salted pig tail but she can’t always get it.

    Enjoy that praise – it doesn’t happen often, but then again a good cook would recognise another.

    Happy Christmas!

  14. Alysia
    December 27, 2012 / 2:26 pm

    Hi there

    I just finish my moms xmas pepperpot promising once again that i will learn to make it myself this year. My son is really on my back about this so I will give you recipe a try this weekend Jehan.

    Re: chicken pepperpot..i had this in Guyana this past august. I and a mixed group of guyanese and non-guyanese with particular dietery restrictions visited an ameri-indian village on an island the essiquibo and requested ahead of time that the pepperpot be chicken only. it was nice but i must admit did not taste anywhere near like a traditional pepperpot. it wasn’t bad just different. I think they skimped on the pepper and some spices too cuz it wasn’t so dark or spicy as traditional pepperpot. but they were trying to accomodate our guests so that why i think. It was also served with cassava bread which i’m not a fan of. If you use the traditional spices it should still be good but like Jehan said not quite like the traditional version.

  15. Barbara Bihm
    August 23, 2013 / 2:12 pm

    Hi Jehan, I am new to your site and I absolutely love it. You certainly know your cultural foods :), I’m Guyanese by the way! Concerning the chicken as a substitute for the other meats in pepper pot, I must say for a fact it is very much doable. You have to use the boney parts of the chicken for the most part (back, thigh,drumsticks wings and neck), and of course the feet to give it that jellylike effect of the cow’s feet. With all the seasonings just like in your recipe and genuine casserip, I have to say it makes for a pretty good substitute on Christmas morning!

  16. JehanP
    August 26, 2013 / 6:02 pm

    Barbara thanks for the tip. I can see how the chicken foot could be a great substitute for the cow’s feet. I will have to try this one day for the sake of adding a different version for non pork and beef eaters. Thanks.

  17. Natacha
    November 6, 2013 / 3:08 pm

    Jehan thank you so much for sharing your recipes! the ones I have tried are wonderful! I cant wait to try the pepperpot this Xmas. Thank you and God Bless!

  18. Dara L
    December 11, 2013 / 9:39 am

    Hi Jehan your picture of your moms baked bread is beautiful. I would like to try this for my Christmas morning, can you please share the recipe ?

  19. December 17, 2013 / 7:46 am

    That dish looks so yummy!

  20. Priya
    December 17, 2013 / 8:12 am

    Hi Jehnacancook, can you please post a recepie for lamb pepper pot?

    Patiently waiting for that recepie.

    Thank you 🙂

  21. JehanP
    December 23, 2013 / 11:45 am

    Priya, simply substitute lamb instead of the meats I’ve used.

  22. Melly
    December 29, 2013 / 9:45 am

    One of my favorites. Christmas really isn’t the same without it. I made this for my boyfriend and family. Followed your recipe completely with an addition of oxtails (the meat I grew up having). It was my absolute first attempt and it came out wonderful. My boyfriend said it’s the best he’s ever had and he’s an uber foodie so he’s tried quite a few. Oh I made your plait bread also. Perfect. You’ve made me a better cook. Thank you

  23. JehanP
    December 29, 2013 / 8:16 pm

    Thanks Melly, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  24. Lesley Davis
    December 22, 2014 / 11:08 am

    Hi Jehan. Thanks for this recipe. As it’s nearly Christmas, I wanted to try this recipe. It was very easy to follow. I did substitute the salted pork for spare ribs and I omitted the cow foot. But it actually turned out delicious. I made some bread too which is equally as nice. Thanks again

  25. lisa
    December 22, 2014 / 7:16 pm

    Hi Jehan!
    Thanks so much for posting. This is my Christmas gift to my dad who hasn’t had a pepperpot (much less decent) for at least 20 years. As first Gen north American, I think he will be proper pleased with his children keeping with tradition. Thanks for sharing so I could share such fond memories with my daddy as well! Merry Christmas gal!

  26. Nikki
    January 17, 2015 / 2:37 am

    Great site! Jehan where can I find cassareep in Atlanta!?

  27. JehanP
    January 18, 2015 / 7:21 pm

    Nikki, Georgetown Food Market carries cassareep. There are two locations, one in Decatur and a second in Jonesboro.

  28. Dacy
    April 6, 2015 / 9:48 pm

    Hey JehanP ,
    I really love your blog and the recopies on here . Someone asked about using other meats instead of the traditional used in the pepper pot . I would recommend lamb and/ turkey . I’ve personally tried the two and I must say they both worked well !

  29. JehanP
    April 18, 2015 / 9:22 am

    Hi Dacy, thank you for the kind words. I will have to give that a try!

  30. judy telles
    December 10, 2015 / 3:29 am

    Found your recipe last christmas as we couldnt find my mothers we used yours.we are definitely related.no way could it be like my mothers without that connection.we are in north london.england and guyanese.

  31. Lau
    January 16, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I have just one question; do you pickle both the pork and stew beef at the start or just the pork? Thanks again

  32. JehanP
    January 17, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Hi Lau, the pickled pork is referring to the salted pigtail. It is bought already salted and pickled. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  33. Henry
    March 3, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    I have yet to try this version of Pepperpot as no way to find that here in PA. I’ve been wanting too for a long time but such things not easy to find here. I have to order it from Amazon most likely. But can you recommend a good brand of Cassareep that you know of so i get the real thing because i know there are quite a few on Amazon.

  34. Roz
    December 2, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Hi Jehan,love your site.I can’t get pig tail or salted beef what could I use as a substitute please?

  35. JehanP
    December 6, 2016 / 8:30 am

    Hi Roz, you can substitute with any salted meat but if not, just omit it from the recipe.

  36. Bibi
    December 17, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    Does it have to done in a pressure cooker? Or can I cook it in a pot for a longer time?

  37. JehanP
    December 18, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    It doesn’t have to. A pressure just cuts the cooking time. You can boil it but it will take more than an hour.