Guyanese Pepperpot with Oxtails

We were introduced to Guyanese (where they drank the Kool-aid) pepperpot at our son’s house this Christmas by his partner who is originally from Guyana.  Guyanese pepperpot is a traditional Christmas beef stew made with aromatics and spices.  The stew is usually cooked for most of the day until the meat falls from the bone and eaten with toasted bread.  It was delicious!  I immediately thought of making oxtails a la Guyanese  🙂

Not really wanting to do an all day stewing for my first try, worrying about liquid levels and doneness, I took out my pressure cooker, browned the oxtails in a bit of oil, then removed them and set them aside.

I added onions and garlic to the oil remaining in the pressure cooker and sauteed until they were soft.  I intended to chop the onions and garlic in the food processor but got distracted taking this picture and before I knew it,  I had just dumped them in the pot.  Oh well, it didn’t hurt.  I returned the oxtails to the pot along with some water and pressure cooked for about 40 minutes.  This pre-cooking tenderized and allowed the meat to loosen from the bones.

The spices, herbs,  aromatics and casareep, a yucca based molasses, are added to the pressure cooker, top off, to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Maybe this was not as good as the version we had at Christmas, but it was pretty good.

Guyanese Pepperpot with Oxtails

3 lbs oxtails

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp peanut oil

2 onions, chopped

4-6 garlic cloves, chopped

6 cups water

1 whole habenero or scotch bonnet

2  2 inch strips of orange peel

5 thyme sprigs

1 inch ginger, skin on, chopped

1  3 inch whole cinnamon stick

5 cloves

5 allspice peppercorns (Jamaican)

3/4 cup Casareep

Season the oxtails with salt and pepper, then brown them with the peanut oil in the bottom of a pressure cooker (no top), remove and set aside.  Add the onion and garlic to the pot and saute until soft.  Return the oxtails to the pan add the water, put on cover and the bobble thing.  Cook on high until the bobble begins an excited swing.  Lower the heat to simmer, maintaining a gentle bobble swing for about 40 minutes.  Remove the pressure cooker from the heat and set aside to cool.  Don’t touch the bobble or try to open the pressure cooker until the lock rises to the top!

Add the remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker and, top off, simmer for an additional 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with rice.





About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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8 Responses to Guyanese Pepperpot with Oxtails

  1. Mad Dog says:

    That looks delicious – I do love oxtail!

  2. Stella says:

    Oooooh! That sounds fabulous…. Any suggestions as to an alternative to casareep though?

  3. Janet says:

    Oh my goodness! That looks fantastic. I might have to drive to Denver to see if I can locate oxtails now. Superbly done. Your photos are gorgeous as well.

  4. Alison says:

    I was so surprised see this recipe! I found your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed reading it. I am of Guyanese ancestry, born in Brooklyn but I lived in Guyana as a child. Pepperpot and Guyanese plait bread is a must at Christmas for most Guyanese.
    Unfortunately most Americans only know Guyana because of the Jim Jones incident. His followers were all American citizens. Guyanese have much better drinks than Kool-aid…..gingerbeer, sorrel and mauby to name a few😊
    Casareep was used as a preservative by the Amerindians of Guyana. Meat cooked with casareep would last for a while as long as the stew was reheated twice daily.
    I just wanted to thanks for giving Guyanese food some love and exposure.

    • Thank you for your comments Alison. I mentioned the kool-aid because I wanted to make sure everyone knew that the Guyana I was showcasing was not Guinea, Conakry, Guinee Bissau, Equatorial Guinee or French Guiana. I’m pretty excited about discovering more about Guyanese cuisine and am prepared with 2 bottles of casareep 😀

  5. Alison says:

    Lol! We are constantly explaining that. I meant to say thank you….my editing skills are rusty today
    Two bottles are a good score!

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