Pepperpot – Tasty Traditional Guyanese Dish

Guyanese Pepperpot is an Amerindian dish popular in Guyana and sometimes called pepper pot stew by the locals. It is traditionally served at Christmas  and other special events; it is also Guyana’s national dish. Pepper pot is typically a stewed meat dish, strongly flavored with cinnamon, hot peppers, and Cassareep – a special sauce made from the Cassava root. Beef, mutton, and pork are the most popular meats used, though some have been known to use chicken. Pepperpot is popularly served with dense bread and butter, though it is equally as good with rice or roti. Versions of the dish are also served in several other countries in the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St. Vincent.

As Trinbagonians are currently recovering from the madness and revelry of our Carnival, Guyana’s Carnival, Mashramani, is fast approaching. Pepperpot is by far the most well known Guyanese dish although its preparation is a tad bit complicated. So next week, when all of Guyana is celebrating, let’s celebrate with them and try our hand at some delicious Pepperpot.

How to make Pepperpot Guyanese style.

Below are the ingredients you will need to prepare the pepperpot:

  • 2 lbs stewing steak (pork or beef) or brisket
  • 2 pig trotters or cow’s heels (optional: it will make it gooey)
  • 2 lbs ox tail
  • 1 cup cassareep
  • 2 red hot peppers
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • 3 heads clove
  • 2 oz. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 stalks basil
  • 1 bunch fine thyme
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 cloves
  • chopped garlic


Clean the meat thoroughly. Put the heel or trotters in covered pan with water to boil then skim. When half tender add other meat and hot water to cover. Add all other ingredients and simmer until meat is tender. Adjust flavor with salt and sugar. Note: This dish develops flavor when left over a period of days. If left un-refrigerated, it must be reheated to a boil every day. This is a typical Amerindian dish.

Here is an alternative pepperpot recipe to try:


  • 2 lbs cubed lean beef
  • 1 cow heel
  • quartered 1 lime
  • ½ cup Cassareep
  • 2 hot peppers
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • Thyme
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil for frying

Preparation for cow heel.

Wash meat with lime juice. Set aside. Fry cow heel in a large pot for about 10 minutes. Add enough water to cover cow heel and bring to boil. Fry beef for about 5 minutes. When cow heel is half cooked, about 1 hour, add the beef and cassareep and simmer for another hour. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer gently for about one hour until meats are tender and sauce is relatively thick.

Directions for lean beef: Clean meat with vinegar. Cut meat into small pieces. Season with Grace Fish and Meat Sauce, soy sauce and use seasoning from Grace Cock Soup Mix over meat. Add chopped onion, garlic, e scallion, thyme and salt. Rub in ingredients well. Heat Grace Frying Oil in a pan and fry meat. Add water, scotch bonnet pepper, with additional seasoning and allow meat to cook until tender.