We were introduced to Guyanese (where they drank the Kool-aid) pepperpot at our son’s house this Christmas by his partner who is originally from Guyana. Guyanese pepperpot is a traditional Christmas beef stew made with aromatics and spices. The stew is usually cooked for most of the day until the meat falls from the bone and eaten with toasted bread. It was delicious! I immediately thought of making oxtails a la Guyanese 🙂
Not really wanting to do an all day stewing for my first try, worrying about liquid levels and doneness, I took out my pressure cooker, browned the oxtails in a bit of oil, then removed them and set them aside.
I added onions and garlic to the oil remaining in the pressure cooker and sauteed until they were soft. I intended to chop the onions and garlic in the food processor but got distracted taking this picture and before I knew it, I had just dumped them in the pot. Oh well, it didn’t hurt. I returned the oxtails to the pot along with some water and pressure cooked for about 40 minutes. This pre-cooking tenderized and allowed the meat to loosen from the bones.
The spices, herbs, aromatics and casareep, a yucca based molasses, are added to the pressure cooker, top off, to simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Maybe this was not as good as the version we had at Christmas, but it was pretty good.
Guyanese Pepperpot with Oxtails
3 lbs oxtails
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 onions, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups water
1 whole habenero or scotch bonnet
2 2 inch strips of orange peel
5 thyme sprigs
1 inch ginger, skin on, chopped
1 3 inch whole cinnamon stick
5 allspice peppercorns (Jamaican)
3/4 cup Casareep
Season the oxtails with salt and pepper, then brown them with the peanut oil in the bottom of a pressure cooker (no top), remove and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and saute until soft. Return the oxtails to the pan add the water, put on cover and the bobble thing. Cook on high until the bobble begins an excited swing. Lower the heat to simmer, maintaining a gentle bobble swing for about 40 minutes. Remove the pressure cooker from the heat and set aside to cool. Don’t touch the bobble or try to open the pressure cooker until the lock rises to the top!
Add the remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker and, top off, simmer for an additional 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with rice.