(22) Guyana – Pepperpot

Kaieteur Falls. Source: Rove.me – Winston Tinubu

We are traveling a lot this week my fellow foodies! We start this week off in South America trying the very traditional pepperpot of Guyana. Guyana is nestled between Suriname, Venezuela, and Brazil; also bordering the Atlantic ocean to the north. The country is influenced by its past English colonization along with the Caribbean. It’s the only English-speaking country of South America and it’s name means “land of many waters.” The name is fitting since it’s home to the world’s largest single drop waterfall, Kaieteur Falls (pictured above) which plummets 822ft and is 328ft wide!

Guyanese food is a wonderful blend of several cultures including African, European, and Chinese to name a few! Pepperpot is a spicy dish full of strong flavors like cinnamon, garlic, and ginger. The exact origin of this dish is not clear, however it is thought to have been created by the Indigenous people of this land. They were also the first to discover how to extract liquid from the toxic cassava root for safe consumption.

This liquid is known today as cassareep. Cassareep reminded me of a molasses and paired well with the other competitive flavors. I was able to get my hands on some from ordering once again on Etsy.

The recipe I used for this fiery meal can be found here. It was easy to follow and I could prep the next elements of the dish while others were cooking. Once the meat was stewing with the spices it filled the apartment with the most wonderful aroma. We could only hope it would taste just as good!

*I have since made this again and have created an Instapot version with alterations (recipe can be found below).

Pepperpot did not disappoint. It had a wonderful heat without being too spicy (I used jalapenos because I can’t stand any hotter). The meat was very tender and each bite had hints of cinnamon, cassareep, and orange. We loved how unique this dish was and rated it 7/10.

Next we head back to Europe for a little more Salmon!

Guyanese Pepperpot (Instapot Method)

This flavorful and well balanced spiced dish is perfect when you have the winter time blues or want to prep food for the week. I highly recommend making this dish a day ahead to allow the flavors to develop over night! It is traditionally served on Christmas Day in Guyana.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Guyanese, South American
Servings 4


  • Instapot Pressure Cooker


  • 2.5 lbs beef cut into cubed pieces (I used chuck steak- you need a bigger cut due to the fat you cut out, also stewing beef or other boneless cuts would work)
  • oil for cooking, adding a tbsp at a time as needed when cooking
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 3/4 cup cassareep this can be hard to find- I get mine on Amazon (brand is Real Guyana)
  • 1 habanero
  • 2-3 jalapenos replace with the authentic wiri wiri peppers or habanero peppers for more spice. Additional jalapenos if desired (see step 4)
  • 4-6 baby bell/sweet peppers
  • 1 2 inch ginger root peeled and minced
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 2 inch orange peels
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp clove ground
  • 1 tsp thyme or 4 sprigs
  • salt and pepper to preference
  • water to almost cover beef
  • cilantro to garnish (optional)


  • Cut beef into bite sized pieces and heat oil in Instapot on low sauté. Add beef to pot and brown on all sides, make sure not to over crown the pot. You will likely have to do this in batches. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add onion into the pot with the garlic and allow onions to soften for a few minutes. Return beef to pot and turn off heat.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except cinnamon stick, orange peels, and sweet peppers. Place cinnamon and orange peels them in a tea bag or cheese cloth pouch and place on top. Place lid on Instapot and set it to 45 minutes pressure cook at regular pressure. (Time varies on how long it will take to reach pressure and to release dependent on your elevation)
  • While the pepper pot is cooking take your sweet peppers (additional jalapenos if desired) and sauté on high-medium heat in skillet until lightly browned on the sides.
  • Once pressure cooking is complete allow it to depressurize naturally. Add sweet peppers to the pepper pot and store in an air tight container for 24 hours to allow flavors to develop further (this is optional). Serve with rice or crusty white bread (we prefer with coconut rice). Enjoy!