Guyanese Pepperpot

Guyanese Pepperpot
Author: Sobia Khan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
This popular dish is served on special occasions, such as Christmas. The traditional version contains an astonishing amount of sugar, salt and fat. This healthier adaptation replaces the cow’s feet with lean beef shoulder, reduces the amount of oxtail and uses much less added sugar and salt, but it should still be reserved as a special-occasion treat.
  • Meat and Marinade
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Scotch bonnet chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (30 mL)
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (10 mL)
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt (2 mL)
  • 2 lbs lean beef shoulder, with bone, cut into equal-size chunks thyme (1 kg)
  • 1 lb oxtail, with bone, cut into equal-size chunks and visible fat removed (500 g)
  • Stew
  • 11⁄2 tsp vegetable oil (7 mL)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1⁄3 cup cassareep (see Tips) (75 mL)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 3-inch (7.5 cm) cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp packed brown sugar (10 mL)
  • 4 cups water (1 L)
  • 2 green onions (green part only), finely chopped (optional)
  1. Meat and Marinade: In a large bowl, combine garlic, green onions, Scotch bonnets, thyme, pepper and salt. Transfer one-third of the mixture to a medium bowl.
  2. Add the beef to the large bowl and the oxtail to the medium bowl, tossing to coat. Cover both bowls and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Stew: Transfer the oxtail to a pot and transfer any remaining marinade to the beef mixture. Add enough water to the pot to cover the oxtail. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, leaving lid ajar, and boil for 45 minutes, adding more water as needed to keep oxtail covered. Drain off water.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add beef mixture, onions and celery; cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed, until beef is well browned.
  5. Add oxtail and cassareep and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in cloves, cinnamon, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, leaving lid ajar, and simmer for 20 minutes or until beef and oxtail are fork-tender. Discard cinnamon sticks.
  6. Serve garnished with green onions, if desired.
For a more authentic flavor, look for Jamaican or Guyanese thyme at a Caribbean grocery store. Every variety of thyme has a slightly different flavor, and Jamaican thyme in particular tends to be more pungent than North American thyme, so add a bit less of it to your recipes.[br][br]For ease of preparation, ask your local butcher to cut the beef and oxtail into chunks for you if precut meat is not available. Ask for any visible fat to be trimmed as well.[br][br]The cooking time in step 3 will depend on the size of the chunks of meat. Check the tenderness of the meat after 1 hour, then continue cooking as needed, checking periodically, until the meat is fork-tender.[br][br]Cassareep, a syrup made from the juice of the cassava root, gives this dish a sweet flavor and dark color. Traditional pepperpot recipes call for up to 1 cup (250 mL) to be added, but that also adds a lot of carbohydrate and sodium, so this version uses a smaller amount. When choosing Cassareep, look at the Nutrition Facts table and choose brands with lower carbohydrate and sodium.[br][br]Pepperpot is meant to be both sweet and spicy. If you want more heat, leave some or all of the seeds in the Scotch bonnet peppers.


Courtesy of 150 Best Indian, Asian, Caribbean and More Diabetes Recipes by Sobia Khan 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

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