Tag Archives: oxtail

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,