What is it?
Pepper Pot is the National dish of Guyana. Its origin goes back to
the Indian tribes who lived in the region. They were hunters and used
to cook their hunted game in huge pots, made of clay and kept adding
more meat or fowl, and took those big pots with them from one camp
to the next. Food would be for years maybe, being cooked always, adding
some more ingredients. It’s been know of one of these pots which
lasted one hundred years! The requisite is to take it to a daily boiling.
It doesn’t need refrigeration as long as you boil it every day.
You must keep on adding casareep daily too. Casareep is a sauce made
with cassava, (yucca, mandioca); it is a starchy root.
Grate a cassava over a kitchen towel. Turn the towel closed and press
it very hard, so that the juice comes out. This juice should be taken
to a boil, adding aromatics (cinnamon for instance), and burnt sugar:
this way the thick syrup is obtained and the toxins are removed: the
casareep is a powerful antiseptic. This preserves meats and other
dishes in tropical regions. But be sure to boil it so that it gets
to be very concentrated. It can be used in several other dishes.
The amount of roots to be used depends on the amount of Pepperpot
you are planning to cook.
There are several recipes of Pepperpot but we chose a simple one:
3 pounds of pork, (grease out ), cut into small cubes
2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
3 pounds of beef, cut into cubes
1 cow tail, cut between the bones,
2 red hot peppers thinly sliced
1 cow heel
Casareep…2 cups or more if needed
Basil, thyme and 2 garlic cloves
1 onion, chopped
1 pig tail (optional)
Cook the heel and the tail (both the cow’s and the pig’s
tail) long enough so that they are rather tender. Add the rest of
the ingredients, the casareep too, and add the salt and cover it.
Bring this to a boil,. Then lower the fire and let it boil for two
hours. This boiling should be repeated for at least 6 days, taking
the whole thing to boil for at least a half an hour daily, until the
meat came out completely of the bones. If you don’t wish to
boil it every day, then take it to the refrigerator. But the real
Pepperpot is to be left over the stove and boiled every day.