Category Archives: Meats

Pepperpot… A Traditional Guyanese Christmas Breakfast

Guyanese Pepperpot

Christmas is my favorite time of year for many reasons, but most particularly because of the delicious foods and baked goods that most Guyanese homes are filled with at Christmas time. Pepperpot is a rich meat stew that has been handed down to us from our Amerindian ancestors (Ameridians are the indigenous people of Guyana). It is traditionally eaten with bread (I prefer homemade) on Christmas morning. My favorite childhood Christmas memory is waking up to the smell of pepperpot and bread on Christmas morning. Pepperpot making is a real labor of love. The best tasting pepperpot simmers for hours, even days before being served. Mine takes about 6 hours, but most of the time it’s on the stove simmering away and you don’t have much to do.

This recipe requires a pressure cooker, but for those who don’t own one or feel comfortable using one, scroll to the “Tips and Ramblings” section of the post for tips on what to do it you don’t have a pressure cooker.

As a side note, I also wanted to thank everyone for their continued support, emails and recipe requests. It is becoming increasingly difficult to blog on a regular basis, but I am hanging in there. I promise to get to all of your requests as soon as I can. Much love and Merry Christmas to all!

The recipe…

For this recipe, I am using: 1.5 lbs Beef (I used a chuck roast, then cut it into 1 inch cubes) 2 lbs Oxtail 3lbs Cow Heel (may also be called cow feet in some supermarket) 1 cup cassareep (divided into 2) 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 large yellow onions diced 6 large cloves of garlic finely chopped 1 tsp cayenne powder 5 cinnamon sticks 1 tbsp granulated garlic 3 wiri wiri peppers 1 tbsp whole clobes 2 tbsp salt 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper 2 tbsp dried Guyanese thyme

For this recipe, I am using:
1.5 lbs Beef (I used a chuck roast, then cut it into 1 inch cubes)
2 lbs Oxtail
3lbs Cow Heel (may also be called cow feet in some supermarket)
1 cup cassareep (divided into 2)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large yellow onions diced
6 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp cayenne powder
5 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp granulated garlic
3 wiri wiri peppers
1 tbsp whole clobes
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp dried Guyanese thyme

First season the oxtail using 1/3 of the sugar and all the other ingredients, except the cinnamon and cloves. Use 1/3 of 1/2 of the cassareep and reserve the other 1/2 to use later. Do not add the onion and garlic.  Mix everything together and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

First season the oxtail using 1/3 of the sugar and all the other ingredients, except the cinnamon and cloves. Use 1/3 of 1/2 of the cassareep and reserve the other 1/2 to use later. Do not add the onion and garlic.
Mix everything together and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Follow the same steps as above to marinade the beef and cow heel

Follow the same steps as above to marinade the beef and cow heel.

Once everything has been marinating for at least 30 minutes, we can start the long but wonderful pepperpot cooking process…

The thing I hate most about some pepperpot is biting into a clove while eating. So I've come up with a solution for that. Place cloves in a 6 inch square of muslin fabric or cheese cloth. Gather up the edges of the fabric and make a knot. Now you have a nice little clove diffuser!!!!

The thing I hate most about some pepperpot is biting into a clove while eating. So I’ve come up with a solution for that. Place cloves in a 6 inch square of muslin fabric or cheese cloth. Gather up the edges of the fabric and make a knot. Now you have a nice little clove diffuser!!!!

Now we are ready to get the pot boiling…

In a large stock pot saute 1/3 of the onion and garlic on high heat, in about 2 tbsp of oil. Then add seasoned beef, cinnamon and cloves. Saute beef until all pieces are brown all over. Browned meat is delicious when slow cooked. Browning also seals in the flavors of the spices.

In a large stock pot saute 1/3 of the onion and garlic on high heat, in about 2 tbsp of oil. Then add seasoned beef, cinnamon and cloves. Saute beef until all pieces are brown all over. Browned meat is delicious when slow cooked. Browning also seals in the flavors of the spices. Once meat is nice and brown, add about 6 cups of water to the beef, bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to low and let simmer. This will continue to cook slowly, while we are prepping all the other ingredients.

Now for the oxtail.  Warm about 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker on high heat, then add oxtail and 1/3 of onion and garlic. Saute oxtail until brown, then add 5 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Cover and pressure cook until oxtail is tender but not completely falling off the bone. Some meats take a very long time to cook, I use my pressure cooker to help the process along.

Now for the oxtail.
Warm about 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker on high heat, then add oxtail and 1/3 of onion and garlic. Saute oxtail until brown, then add 5 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Cover and pressure cook until oxtail is tender but not completely falling off the bone. Some meats take a very long time to cook, I use my pressure cooker to help the process along.

Follow the same steps to pressure cook the cow heel, as you did with the oxtail.

Follow the same steps to pressure cook the cow heel, as you did with the oxtail.

It took about 1.5hrs combined to cook the oxtail and the cow heel. While they were pressure cooking, the beef was simmering to a delicious rich and tender stew.

Now add the oxtail to the beef and mix together.

Now add the oxtail to the beef and mix together.

Then add the cow heel to the oxtail and beef combination and mix together.

Then add the cow heel to the oxtail and beef combination and mix together.

After you have combined all the meat add about 2 to 3 cups more water, just enough to cover the meat. It is also at this point that I add the 1/2 cup of cassareep we reserved in the beginning. Increase the heat to high and bring pot to a roaring boiling. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

After you have combined all the meat add about 2 to 3 cups more water, just enough to cover the meat. It is also at this point that I add the 1/2 cup of cassareep we reserved in the beginning. Increase the heat to high and bring pot to a roaring boiling. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

Let pepperpot cook on low to medium heat, until all the meat is falling off the bone tender. This took about 2.5hrs for me. Along the way, I tasted the pepperpot and added about 1/4 cup brown sugar and a pinch of salt. I also made sure the wiri peppers were cut open for additional heat.

Let pepperpot cook on low to medium heat, until all the meat is falling off the bone tender. This took about 2.5hrs for me. Along the way, I tasted the pepperpot and added about 1/4 cup brown sugar and a pinch of salt. I also made sure the wiri peppers were cut open for additional heat.

Pepperpot is better when it sits for at least 12 hours in the gravy before serving. Most people make their pepperpot on Christmas even, let it sit overnight, reheat it and then serve it Christmas morning. There is no need to refrigerate your pepperpot, just keep it on the stove top and keep reheating it twice daily, once in the morning and then at night before you go to bed.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Pepperpot (serves about 8 generous servings)
Ingredients:
1.5 lbs Beef (I used a chuck roast, then cut it into 1 inch cubes)
2 lbs Oxtail
3lbs Cow Heel (may also be called cow feet in some supermarket)
1 cup cassareep (divided into 2)
1/2 cup brown sugar + about 1/4 cup for the end.
1 large yellow onions diced
6 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp cayenne powder
5 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp granulated garlic
3 wiri wiri peppers
1 tbsp whole clobes
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp dried Guyanese thyme
About 4 tbsp oil

Directions:
First, season the oxtail using 1/3 of the sugar and all the other ingredients, except the cinnamon, cloves and wiri wiri pepper. Use 1/3 of 1/2 of the cassareep and reserve the other 1/2 to use later. Do not add the onion and garlic. Mix everything together and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Follow the same steps to marinade the beef and cow heel. In a large stock pot saute 1/3 of the onion and garlic on high heat, in about 2 tbsp of oil. Then add seasoned beef, cinnamon, cloves and wiri wiri pepper. Saute beef until all pieces are brown all over. Once the meat is nice and brown, add about 6 cups of water to the beef, bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to low and let simmer.

Warm about 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker on high heat, then add oxtail and 1/3 of onion and garlic. Saute oxtail until brown, then add 5 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Cover and pressure cook until oxtail is tender but not completely falling off the bone. Follow the same steps to pressure cook the cow heel, as you did with the oxtail. Now add the oxtail to the beef and mix together.Then add the cow heel to the oxtail and beef combination and mix together.After you have combined all the meat add about 2 to 3 cups more water, just enough to cover the meat. Then add the 1/2 cup of cassareep we reserved in the beginning. Increase the heat to high and bring pot to a roaring boiling. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the meat is falling off the bone tender, about 2.5 hrs. Taste pepperpot and added about 1/4 cup brown sugar and a pinch of salt, if needed. Cut open the wiri wiri peppers for additional heat. Serve and Enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings
1. I know there are many different ways to make pepperpot, this is the method I have perfected over the years. I have definitely had the pepperpot right out the pot, immediately after it has finished cooking, but pepperpot is like fine wine, it gets better with age.
2. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, don’t worry. All you have to do is cook the most time consuming meats first. So I would put the oxtail and cow heel to cook first. When they are half way cooked I would then add the beef and let everything slow cook until everything is falling off the bone soft. I would even venture to say, you could make pepperpot in a slow cooker. I don’t own one but if I did logic says, it would work just fine.
3. As with anything you cook, taste and adjust the seasoning along the way, some may need more salt or pepper to their taste.
4. Someone out there didn’t want you guys to get this recipe. I swear. While cooking some pepperpot pitch up in mah eye and almost blinded me. I almost left everything and went my way. Then while editing I got hit with a massive and crippling migraine. I feel terrible that I couldn’t get it to you guys sooner, but alas, here it is.

Happy Cooking All!

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Soup, Soup, Soup… Chicken and split peas soup

Guyanese Chicken and split peas soup

When it gets cold, all I can think of makingĀ  is a nice pot of warm and delicious soup. Soup is so comforting to me. One member of a Guyanese group I follow on Facebook, asked if anyone else had soup for dinner on Sundays while growing up in Guyana. The response was overwhelmingly “yes” and apparently soup on Sundays was/is a Guyanese culinary tradition. The similarities in the types of soup and the side dishes served with the soup were just heart warming. We have a strong food culture and it was still alive in some of the stories members of the group shared. I don’t reserve soup for Sunday night dinners. Actually, since it is football season Sunday nights are more chicken wings and pizza night! I have soup anytime I feel like it and this soup is a good base for many soup concoctions. To mix it up a bit, I just switch up some of the vegetables, add or take away dumplings (Guyanese style or Asian style), add some root vegetables and change the type of bread I serve it with. I swear, every time I make it, it’s a completely different soup. The ingredients are simple and so is the method, but it does take some time, to simmer it down into a thick mouth watering broth!

Now for the recipe…

Add 1 cup of yellow split peas, 1 tsp salt and 8 cups water to a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until split peas is tender.

Add 1 cup of yellow split peas, 1 tsp salt and 8 cups water to a large stock pot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until split peas are tender.

Chop 1 lb of chicken thighs (skinless, bone-in) into 2 inch pieces. Dice 3 carrots, 2 sticks of celery hearts and red potatoes into 1 inch pieces.  Chop 1 onion and 6 cloves of garlic. Remove about 1/4 cup of fresh thyme leaves from the stems and reserve 1 whole wiri wiri pepper, or other spicy pepper (like scotch bonnet).  Add  all of the ingredients to the cooked split peas along with  3 chicken bouillon cubes and 8 cups of water (2 quarts).  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Let cook until potato and carrots are tender and a thick broth is formed.  Remove from heat and serve hot!

Chop 1 lb of chicken thighs (skinless, bone-in) into 2 inch pieces.
Dice 3 carrots, 2 sticks of celery hearts and red potatoes into 1 inch pieces.
Chop 1 onion and 6 cloves of garlic. Remove about 1/4 cup of fresh thyme leaves from the stems and reserve 1 whole wiri wiri pepper, or other spicy pepper (like scotch bonnet).
Add all of the ingredients to the cooked split peas along with 3 chicken bouillon cubes and 8 cups of water (2 quarts).

Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Let cook until potato and carrots are tender and a thick broth is formed. Remove from heat and serve hot!

Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
Let cook until potato and carrots are tender and a thick broth is formed.
Remove from heat and serve hot!

Serve with your favorite bread!

Serve with your favorite bread!


Chicken and Split Peas Soup (4 generous servings)

Ingredients:
1 cup of yellow split peas and about 8 cups water for cooking
2 lbs chicken thighs (skinless, bone-in)
1 lb potatoes
3 carrots
3 sticks of celery hearts, diced.
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic,finely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh thyme (stems removed)
1 wiri wiri pepper
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp salt
8 additional cups of water for the broth.

Directions:
In a large stock pot combine split peas with 8 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until split peas is really tender (crushes easily with the back of a spoon). Cut chicken thighs into 2 inch chunks. Peel and dice potatoes and carrots into 1 inch pieces. Once the split peas are tender, add chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, pepper and bouillon cubes. Then, add about 8 cups of water. Stir until all the ingredients are combined. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender and a thick broth forms (about 30 to 45 minutes). Remove from heat and serve hot.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This is like a chicken and vegetable soup with a split peas base or in a split peas broth. Maybe that’s what I should have titled this post, sounds more fancy actually!
2. You could add noodles instead of potatoes to this soup.
3. You could add plantains, cassava and sweet potatoes for a more hearty soup, and even a dumpling or two.
4. I sometimes let this soup cook down, until the potatoes have melted away for a really thick broth. It’s so yummy.
5. I cook the soup with the pepper whole, because it gives lots of flavor without the heat. I serve my husband the pepper, which he cuts open for a really spicy version of this soup!

Happy Cooking!

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Hearty Soups… Beef & Barley Soup

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It’s Fall and the weather is cooling down. We’ve even had snow already, in Denver! On really cold days, all I can think of is warm, delicious, hearty soups. Which means, I might actual make metemgee soon. Well, we’ll see how it comes out. Ha.

About this soup… I originally was in the mood for oxtail or cow heel soup on the coldest day we’ve had so far, but my pressure cooker is broken and boiling oxtail and cow heel can take forever. Then it came to me, why not just make beef soup. So I went to the supermarket to get some beef (I don’t keep beef frozen because I feel it gets a bit card board like when frozen for too long). At the supermarket they had these glorious beef rib bones, then I happened upon some leeks. It was clear that I had the beginnings of a delicious soup. When I got home I said let’s add some barley and make this a really hearty and filling meal. It was so delicious, that I was in a serious food coma when I was finished eating.

Here’s the recipe, try it for yourself on a cold fall night, it’s guaranteed to warm you up.

The main ingredients for this soup are…

1 lb Beef 1 lb of Beef Bones (I'm using Beef ribs) 1 cup of barley 3 Leeks 3 large carrots 2 large potatoes 1/2 cup of chopped celery 1/4 cup of fresh thyme 2 corn on the cob 8 cups of beef broth (or water) and an additional 4 cups of water 6 cloves of garlic 2 wiri wiri peppers or other hot pepper

1 lb Beef
1 lb of Beef Bones (I’m using Beef ribs)
1 cup of barley
3 Leeks
3 large carrots
2 large potatoes
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup of fresh thyme
2 corn on the cob
8 cups of beef broth (or water) and an additional 4 cups of water
6 cloves of garlic
2 wiri wiri peppers or other hot pepper

Before you start cooking, soak your barley in about 2 cups of boiling water.

Before you start cooking, soak your barley in about 2 cups of boiling water and set aside.

First you will need to prep the leeks for cooking. Cut off tough green stock of leeks and dice remaining white part into thin slices.  Add to a large bowl of water (I'm using my very clean sink!) Then separate the layers of leeks so that you can wash away the sand from each layer. Once I've washed all the layers, I use a large sieve to scoop them all up and drain the water.

Then, you will need to prep the leeks for cooking. Cut off the tough green stock from the leeks and cut the remaining white part into thin slices.
Add to a large bowl of water (I’m using my very clean sink!)
Then separate the layers of leeks so that you can wash away the sand from each layer. Once I’ve washed all the layers, I use a large sieve to scoop them all up and drain the water.

Next, in a large stock pot on medium heat, saute leeks with about 3 tbsp oil, until leeks are golden brown and soft. Add 1/2 tsp salt to help bring out the flavor of the leeks while they cook.

Next, in a large stock pot on medium heat, saute leeks with about 3 tbsp oil, until leeks are golden brown and soft. Add 1/2 tsp salt to help bring out the flavor of the leeks while they cook.

While the leeks are cooking, season your beef bones with fresh ground black pepper, and some salt (just about 1/4 tsp).

While the leeks are cooking, season your beef bones with fresh ground black pepper, and some salt (just about 1/4 tsp).

Cut your beef into 1 inch chunks and season with black pepper and salt as well.

Cut your beef into 2 inch chunks and season with black pepper and salt as well.

Once the leeks are soft and golden brown in color, add your beef bones and saute, turning once or twice until all the sides have a nice brown color. This helps to bring out the richness in the flavor of the bones.

Once the leeks are soft and golden brown in color, add your beef bones and saute, turning once or twice until all the sides have a nice brown color. This helps to bring out the richness in the flavor of the bones.

Next prep your corn. Peel corn and cut into 1 inch pieces (if you have a good knife and the corn is fresh, this will be pretty easy).

Next prep your corn. Peel corn and cut into 1 inch pieces (if you have a good knife and the corn is fresh, this will be pretty easy).

Chop the potatoes and carrots into small 1 inch cubes cubes.  Chop garlic and celery into chunks.  Remove thyme from stems.

Chop the potatoes and carrots into small 1 inch cubes cubes.
Chop garlic and celery into chunks.
Remove thyme from stems.

Once beef bones have browned for about 5 to 10 minutes, add beef and saute for another 3 minutes. Then add soaked barley (minus the water). Add remaining ingredients followed by beef broth.

Once beef bones have browned for about 5 to 10 minutes, add beef and saute for another 3 minutes.
Then add soaked barley (minus the water). Add remaining ingredients followed by beef broth and 1 tbsp brown sugar.

Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until barley is fully cooked. By the time the barley cooks everything else will be perfectly cooked.

Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until barley is fully cooked. By the time the barley cooks everything else will be perfectly cooked. You may need to add about 4 cups of water along the way, if soup becomes too thick before the barley cooks.

Once the barley cooks, most of the potatoes will melt away and help to form a thick, rich broth.

Once the barley cooks, most of the potatoes will melt away and help to form a thick, rich broth.

I served my soup with a slice of cheesy Texas Toast. It was really delicious.

I served my soup with a slice of cheesy Texas Toast. It was really delicious.

Beef and Barley Soup (Serves generous 6)

Ingredients
1 lb Beef (cut into 2 inch chunks)
1 lb of Beef Bones (I’m using Beef ribs)
1 cup of barley
2 cups of boiling water
3 leeks (washed and chopped into thin slices)
3 tbsp oil
3 large carrots (Diced into 1 inch chunks)
2 large potatoes (Diced into 1 inch chunks)
1/2 cup of chopped celery (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
1/4 cup of fresh thyme (leaves removed from stem)
2 corn on the cob (cut into 1 inch pieces)
8 cups of beef broth (or water) and an additional 4 cups of water
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 wiri wiri peppers or other hot pepper (whole)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Soak barley in 2 cups of boiling water and set aside. In a large stock pot on medium heat, saute leeks in oil, until leeks are soft and brown. Add a pinch of salt to help bring out the flavor. Season beef bones with a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper then, add to leeks and continue to saute, stirring once or twice until bones are brown. Season beef with a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper, then add to stock pot. Continue to saute for about 3 minutes. Drain water from the barley and add to the leeks, bones and beef. Then add, corn, carrots, potatoes, celery, garlic, thyme, wiri wiri pepper, beef stock and brown sugar. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the barley is fully cooked. You may need to add about 4 cups of water along the way if the soup becomes too quick before the barley cooks. Once the barley is fully cooked and soft, remove from heat and serve hot.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I used rib eye steak in my soup instead of stew beef, because I wanted the beef to be nice and fatty and tender. The marble in the steak provided that, but you can use stew beef and just let it simmer until the beef is really tender for the same effect.
2. Some people may choose to boil the barley before adding to the soup, I like to have the barley cook with the soup for added flavor.
3. My husband hates potatoes so I usually try to let the potato melt away and serve as a thickener in the soup. If you love potatoes you can choose to add them after the soup has been boiling for a while. This way, they will still be nice and chunky when the soup is done cooking.
4. I add the wiri wiri pepper whole to the soup for flavor then, cut it open at the end, once I’ve set aside some soup for my son.
5. I served some of this soup to my 15 month old son, who just said yum, yum, yum with every bite. šŸ™‚

Happy Cooking!

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Oxtail Stew… Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew

I know I’m not Jamaican but I can cook a mean oxtail stew, Jamaican style. Two years ago when I moved to Colorado, one day I just had a craving for the oxtail stew my cousin and I got from the little Jamaican cook shop at Flatbush junction in Brooklyn. This was the best oxtail stew I ever tasted. It had the right amount of fat, tenderness and gravy. So I tried to replicate it. First going off of my own taste buds and then by looking up authentic Jamaican oxtail recipes online. Soon I realized that oxtail stew was very similar to Guyanese beef stew, with the exception of all spice. All spice is what gave oxtail stew it’s unique Jamaican flavor. If you’re not sure what all spice it just do a quick internet search. So my recipeĀ  follows my typical Guyanese beef stew recipe with loads of all spice!

The key to flavorful oxtail stew, is to marinate the oxtail overnight…

I'm using about 3 lbs of oxtail that I've trimmed most of the fat from.In a large bowl combine oxtail, 1 large onion diced, 6 cloves garlic finely chopped, 2 tbsp all spice, 1/4 cup cassareep or soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.Mix together until meat is fully coated with other ingredients.Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

I’m using about 3 lbs of oxtail that I’ve trimmed most of the fat from.
In a large bowl combine oxtail, 1 large onion diced, 6 cloves garlic finely chopped, 2 tbsp all spice, 1/4 cup cassareep or soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Mix together until meat is fully coated. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot, or pressure pot on high heat. (I'm using a pressure pot). When oil is hot, add marinated oxtail. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning constantly.This step helps to seal in the flavor. Then, Add 3 to 5 cups of water. If you are using a pressure cooker. Cook until meat is tender (about 30 minutes).If cooking in a regular pot, cover and cook on medium heat until tender, about 1 hour.

Add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot, or pressure pot on high heat. (I’m using a pressure pot).
When oil is hot, add marinated oxtail. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning constantly.
This step helps to seal in the flavor. Then, Add 3 to 5 cups of water.
If you are using a pressure cooker. Cook until meat is tender (about 30 minutes).
If cooking in a regular pot, cover and cook on medium heat until tender, about 1 hour.

Meat falling off the bone is a good indication that the oxtail is fully cooked!

Meat falling off the bone is a good indication that the oxtail is fully cooked!

If you are using a pressure cooker, once the meat cooks, reduce the heat to medium to low heat and let simmer until stew thickens.

If you are using a pressure cooker, once the meat cooks, reduce the heat to medium to low heat and let simmer until stew thickens. At this point you should taste the stew and make any flavor adjustments you need. I added a bit more salt and sugar to mine.

Serve the stew up with your favorite side dishes. I'm having mine with pigeon peas and rice and a mango and pepper salsa!!!

Serve the stew with your favorite side dishes. I’m having mine with pigeon peas and rice and a mango and bell pepper salsa!!!

Oxtail Stew (Serves 6)

Ingredients:
3lbs oxtail (most of fat trimmed from meat)
1 large onion diced
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup cassareep
2 tbsp all spice
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tomato paste
About 4 cups water

Directions:

Combine oxtail, onion, garlic, cassareep, all spice, salt, black pepper, sugar and tomato paste in a large mixing bowl. Mix together and let marinate overnight. Then, add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot or pressure cooker on medium heat. When oil is hot, add oxtail and saute for 5 to 10 minutes turning meat constantly. Add water and cook until oxtail is tender. If pressure cooking this will take about 30 minutes. If conventional cooking, it will take about an hour. Once the oxtail is tender, reduce heat and simmer until stew is thick.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I tried making this stew with soy sauce and it didn’t have the same flavor.
2. You can also make this dish in a slow cooker.
3. In another version of this I added tomatoes and it added a nice amount of acidity to the stew.
4. I’m not Jamaican so please, if you have a better version of this stew, don’t be afraid to share.

Happy Cooking!

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Winter Cure… Hearty Oxtail Soup

Oxtail Soup

With the frigid temperatures we’ve had all winter, I was craving something warm and hearty. Then my husband said, why not make some oxtail soup! Soup is generally pretty easy to make, and besides the time it takes to cook the oxtail, this one is no exception. Put everything in a pot and let it boil. Right?! Pretty simple. And that’s just what I did to create this flavorful winter cure.

For this soup you will need about 2 lbs of Oxtail. Cut as much fat from the oxtail as you can.Wash oxtail. Add to a pressure cooker with about 4 to 5 cups of water and 1 tsp salt.Pressure cook until tender (about 30 minutes).

For this soup you will need about 2 lbs of Oxtail.
Cut as much fat from the oxtail as you can.
Wash oxtail. Add to a pressure cooker with about 4 to 5 cups of water and 1 tsp salt.
Pressure cook until tender (about 30 minutes).

Peel and chop your root vegetables…

Here's a quick and easy way to peel yuca (cassava).1. First cut the root into manageable pieces.2. Make a lengthwise slit along the yuca.3. Slide your knife under the skin, along the slit and peel until all the skin is removed.

Here’s a quick and easy way to peel yuca (cassava).
1. First cut the root into manageable pieces.
2. Make a lengthwise slit along the yuca.
3. Slide your knife under the skin, along the slit and peel until all the skin is removed.

Now for the soup…

In a large stock pot, add the cooked oxtail, 3 corn on the cob (cut into halves), 1 cup of split peas, 2 tbsp salt, 1 tsp dried thyme, 5 cloves of garlic chopped, 1 large onion diced and about 6 cups of water . Let cook until peas is soft,Then, Add yuca (about 1lb). Cook for 10 minutes.Then, add 3 yellow plantain (peeled and cut into 2inch round pieces), 1 large sweet potato (diced into 1 inch pieces) and 1 bunch of fresh spinach. Let simmer until all the root vegetables have cooked. Serve and enjoy! It's that simple.

In a large stock pot, add the cooked oxtail and stock, 3 corn on the cob (cut into halves), 1 cup of split peas, 2 tbsp salt, 1 tsp dried thyme, 5 cloves of garlic chopped, 1 large onion diced, 2 wiri wiri peppers or 1 scotch bonnet (whole) and about 5 cups of water . Let cook until peas is soft,
Then, Add yuca (about 1lb diced into 2 inch pieces). Cook for 10 minutes.
Then, add 3 yellow plantain (peeled and cut into 2inch round pieces), 1 large sweet potato (diced into 1 inch pieces) and 1 bunch of fresh spinach.
Let simmer until all the root vegetables have cooked.
Serve and enjoy! It’s that simple.

Oxtail Soup

Oxtail and Vegetable Soup (6 Large Servings)

Ingredients:

2 lbs Oxtail
1 cup split peas
1 lb yuca/cassava (peeled and diced into 2 inch pieces)
3 corn on the cob (cut into halves)
1 large sweet potato (peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces)
3 yellow (ripe) plantains (cut into 2 inch rounds)
1 bunch of fresh spinach
1 large onion (diced)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
2 wiri wiri peppers (1 scotch bonnet or cherry pepper)
about 10 cups of water (total)

Directions:

Trim as much fat from the oxtail as possible. Add oxtail and 1 tsp salt to a pressure cooker with 4 to 5 cups of water and cook for about 30 minutes or until oxtail is tender and falls off the bone. Add cooked oxtail, stock and about 4 cups of water to a large stock pot on medium heat. Add corn, split peas, onion, garlic, thyme, peppers and salt and cook until split peas is soft. Add yuca/cassava and cook for 10 minutes or until yuca/cassava is semi soft. Add remaining vegetables and simmer until all the vegetables have cooked and are tender.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I made a large pot of soup and had in the refrigerator for a few days, eating it whenever I wanted to warm up. It was great!
2. This soup is not “healthy.” Oxtail is very fatty. But it is hearty. Go for a run, then enjoy a bowl.
3. If you are fortunate to live in a place where you have a good butcher and can get your oxtail from him/her, you can have him/her cut the oxtail into pieces for you. This makes cooking much easier and faster. My oxtail comes prepackaged in large chunks.
4. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook the oxtail on medium heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour and it should be just as tender.
5. Adding the peppers whole will give flavor without the heat. I usual cut open one of the pepper at the end for a little bit of heat.
6. If you have a different recipe for oxtail soup, don’t hesitate to share.

Happy Cooking!

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Altee had a little… Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew

This has been a trying week for blogging. So permit me to vent a little. Originally, I wanted to post my pine tart recipe, since I made some really flaky pine tarts last week. I thought I would be clever and film the entire process because it is difficult to make short crust pastry just right, if you’re notquite sure what you’re doing. Well the stupid movie/video editor on my husbands brand new HP laptop requires a rocket scientist to figure it out.Ā  Sigh. So I paid the $4.99 at onetruemedia.com to use their video editor, which I’ve used before for personal youtube videos (not on this blog). Well after waiting a day for the videos to upload I got a dreaded error message. Sigh. So I tried again. No luck. Sigh again. So I was going to just take snap shots from the video and post the recipe anyways, but I don’t want to give up. I want it to be, how I want it to be! So I will try again.Ā  Today, I am sharing a recipe for lamb stew instead, cause everyone loves a little bit of lamb and this stew is plate licking good.

Let’s make some lamb stew…

I'm using about 1 1/2 lbs of lamb. Taken from a boneless leg of lamb and cut into 1.5 inches chunks.

I’m using about 1 1/2 lbs of lamb. Taken from a boneless leg of lamb and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

To remove some of the gamey taste of lamb, wash the lamb with a bit of flour. The longer the lamb sits in the flour the less of a game meat taste (or after taste) it will have.

To remove some of the gamey taste of the lamb, wash the lamb with a bit of flour.
Tip: the longer the lamb sits in the flour the less of a game meat taste (or after taste) it will have.

For this stew I am using, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp dried Guyanese Thyme, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika

For this stew I am using, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp dried Guyanese thyme, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, and 1 tsp smoked paprika. As well as 1 large onions chopped and 1 can of petite diced tomatoes (not pictured here).

Add all of the seasoning (minus onion and tomatoes) to the lamb and let marinade for at least an hour. I usually marinade my lamb over night.

Add all of the seasoning (minus onion and tomatoes) to the lamb and let marinade for at least an hour. I usually marinade my lamb over night.

Now for the cooking part…

Cook diced onions with 3 tbsp oil (I'm using olive oil) on low heat, until brown and soft. You want a nice caramelized flavor. This may take about 20 mins.

Cook diced onions with 3 tbsp oil (I’m using olive oil) on low heat, until brown and soft. You want a nice caramelized flavor. This may take about 20 mins. I’m cooking my lamb in a pressure cooker, but you can use a stockpot, a dutch oven or a slow cooker. Just depends on how much time you have.

Add can of petite diced tomatoes to the caramelized onions and cook down until most of the liquids have evaporated.

Add can of petite diced tomatoes to the caramelized onions and cook down until most of the liquids have evaporated.

Add marinaded lamb to the tomatoes and onions and saute for 10 minutes on high heat. Then, add two to three cups of water (enough to cover the lamb) and pressure cook for 20 minutes or until lamb is tender.If you are not pressure cooking after adding the water, cook in a covered pot on medium heat for 1 hour or until lamb is tender.

Add marinaded lamb to the tomatoes and onions and saute for 10 minutes on high heat. Then, add two to three cups of water (enough to cover the lamb) and pressure cook for 20 minutes or until lamb is tender.
If you are not pressure cooking after adding the water, cook in a covered pot on medium heat for 1 hour or until lamb is tender.

Once the lamb is tender, I typical let the gravy, broth, saucy stuff in the stew cook down on medium heat until it forms a thick stew. This stew is delicious with rice, roti or bread.

Lamb Stew (Spicy)

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs Lamb (preferably boneless leg of lamb cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks)
1 large yellow onion diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes (about 2 cups, can be substituted for 4 fresh Roma tomatoes)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp dried Guyanese thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
About 1 cup flour for washing the lamb
2 cups water

Directions:
Cut lamb into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Add flour to lamb, Mix until lamb is coated with the flour. Then wash flour from the lamb.
Combine granulated lamb, garlic, brown sugar, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl and let marinade for at least an hour. Dice onions. In a large stock pot, pressure cooker or dutch oven cook onions on low heat in olive oil until onions caramelize (become brown and soft). Add tomatoes to cooked onions and cook until liquids cook down and tomatoes and onions form a thick paste-like sauce. Add marinaded lamb and saute for 10 minutes or until lamb is a bit brown. Add 2 cups water and if using a pressure cooker, pressure cook for about 20 minutes or until lamb is tender. If using a stock pot or dutch oven, cook covered, on medium heat for about an hour, or until lamb is tender and gravy becomes a thick stew. If you are pressure cooking, once the meat is tender cook uncovered for about 10 additional minutes until gravy becomes a thick stew.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This is my original recipe. I typically make lamb curry but wanted lamb stew and viola, I made this beauty.
2. This stew is a bit on the spicy side. Real Guyanese people would probably add a wiri wiri pepper to this stew. I’m not that brave.
3. You can use fresh ingredients for any of the dried ingredients listed.
4. You can use fresh garlic and tomatoes for a more complex flavor.
5. Washing the lamb with flour is a great way to remove some of the gamey taste. In fact, once I made lamb curry and everyone thought that it was beef cause I OD’ed on the flour washing process.

Happy Cooking!

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