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A white bowl with Guyanese pepperpot and a slice of plait bread
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5 from 5 votes

Guyanese Pepperpot

A thick meat stew, traditionally enjoyed at Christmas.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 45 mins
Course: Meat Stew
Cuisine: Guyanese
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Althea Brown


  • 1.5 lbs Beef I used a chuck roast, then cut it into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 lbs Oxtail
  • 3 lbs Cow Heel may also be called cow feet in some supermarket
  • 1 cup cassareep divided into 2
  • ½ cup brown sugar + about ¼ cup for the end.
  • 1 large yellow onions diced
  • 6 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 3 wiri wiri peppers
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon dried Guyanese thyme
  • About 4 tablespoon oil


  • Season the oxtail using ⅓ of the sugar and all the other ingredients, except the cinnamon, cloves and wiri wiri pepper. Use ⅓ of ½ of the cassareep and reserve the other ½ to use later. Do not add the onion and garlic.
  • Mix everything together and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Follow steps 1 and 2 above to also marinade the beef and cow heel.
  • In a large stock pot sauté ⅓ of the onion and garlic on high heat, in about 2 tablespoon of oil. Then add seasoned beef, cinnamon, cloves and wiri wiri pepper.
  • Sauté 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 tablespoon oil in a pressure cooker on high heat, then add oxtail and ⅓ of onion and garlic.
  • Sauté 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.
  • 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 ½ 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 the Pepperpot and add about ¼ cup brown sugar and a pinch of salt, if needed. Cut open the wiri wiri peppers for additional heat.
  • Serve and Enjoy.


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 toughest 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.
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 called it a night. 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 here it is.