In Guyana, Christmas breakfast means Pepperpot. Jeremy and I decided to give the traditional recipe a go.
It's easy to see why it's a Holiday favorite. The recipe combines a grab-bag of meat with cassareep (a sauce made from cassava), orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, onion, thyme, brown sugar, and hot peppers. We cooked it for three hours, and it filled our house with a savory mix of exotic and familiar Christmas smells.
Despite the long cook time, the recipe was simple, and the meat came out very tasty. This recipe is definitely going to become a holiday family tradition. I guess this means we'll need to find a reliable source of cassareep in the U.S. In my search for a good pepperpot recipe, I read internet tales of counterfeit cassareep sold in New York City that turned out to be soy sauce.
There are a couple things we'll change next year. First, we will try to find some fattier meat. We bought beef stew meat to avoid dealing with bones, but even after 3 hours of cooking, we never got that juicy, falling-apart meat that I've seen in Guyanese pepperpots. Second, we decided to substitute a couple of Jeremy's farm-grown habanero peppers in for the traditional wiri wiri peppers. The result was very spicy. Next year, we'll stick to just one.
I have worked in economic policy and research in Washington, D.C. and Ghana. My husband and I recently moved to Guyana, where I am working for the Ministry of Finance. I like riding motorcycle, outdoor sports, foreign currencies, capybaras, and having opinions.