Pepperpot, the national dish of Guyana, is an Amerindian meat stew which uses cassareep. Cassareep is a preservative made from grated cassava and flavoured with cinnamon and brown sugar. The Amerindians developed cassareep as a way of preserving meats in the days before refrigeration. Do not refrigerate leftovers. This dish develops flavour when left over a period of days. If not refrigerated, it MUST be reheated to a boil every day. In the early days, a pepperpot was always in the kitchen, and more meat was added to it each day, keeping the pot going for years. This recipe has been halved from the original.
- 1 lb stewing beef or 1 lb beef brisket
- 1 lb pork, trotters (or cow's heels) (optional)
- 1⁄2 lb pigs tail (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup amerindian seasoning (cassareep)
- 1 red hot pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick (1 in x 1 in)
- 1 ounce sugar
- 2 stalks basil
- 1 bunch fine fresh thyme
- 1 large chopped onion
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- Soak pig tails and scald.
- Cook cow heel or trotters in covered pan with water to boil.
- When half tender add all the other meats hot water to cover.
- Add all other ingredients and simmer gently for about one hour until meat is tender.
- Adjust flavor with salt and sugar.
- Note: This dish develops flavor when left over a period of days. If left unrefrigerated, it must be reheated to a boil every day.
- Pepperpot is popularly served with dense bread and butter, though it is equally as good with rice or roti.
- *Serving sizes are a guess on my part - will update.
A good recipe for Pepperpot. When I cook pepperpot, you don't generally cover with water, but add the cassareep with your meat and let it stew in its own juices - only adding water if necessary. If you've left out the cow foot (or pig's) it's always good to add some nice stewing bones to the pot (beef short-ribs work well for this). The type of seasonings also make a great difference, Guyanese Basil (we call it "Married-Man Pork") and Guyanese Thyme have vastly different flavours to the generally available counterparts. If you can get the authentic Herbs it makes an incredible difference. This is also good to serve with boiled provisions (Yam, Eddoes, Cassava, Plantain).
Authentic Guyanese pepperpot does not contain onions, garlic, thyme or bayleaf. Those ingredients completely change the flavor of the dish. The Amerindians never use them. The meat is seasoned with the salt and cassareep only and sugar is added to taste.
Good recipe but missed the dried orange peel or lemon zest.