#117: Guyana – Pepperpot

Happy New Year! I took a few weeks off from cooking new countries to recover from the holidays and to do some planning for a new year of cooking. It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for two years now. The time has gone both fast and slow, and seeing as I’m solidly past the halfway point, I want to slow it down a bit and see if I can’t drag this out for another two years. Just like this week’s dish, sometimes you don’t want to rush things and this project is definitely one of those things. So I’ll be aiming to cook somewhere between 40-50 countries this year, which will allow me to be a bit more thoughtful in the choices I make during the process but also free me up to cook some dishes from my cookbook collection (which grows bigger each year). My latest acquisition is the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook and like its name, I’m already finding some favorites in that collection.

But back to the task at hand: country #117! This required a bit of a geographic lesson and its interesting because the flavors of the dish, as well as the preparation, had me convinced that Guyana was located in Africa but in fact, it’s in northern coastal South America but the small country boasts a population from regions east which could explain some of the flavors present in this dish. I found the same thing when researching the neighboring Suriname.

Behold the beautifully dark color of this meat. I can thank the slow, hours long cooking process of this stewing meat that resulted in the most tender beef I’ve cooked in a long time. But that color? We can thank the molasses for that. The recipe calls for something called cassareep but in an effort to use ingredients in my pantry when possible, I followed the recipe’s direction for a substitute blend of 1/3 cup molasses, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. I served over rice w/ steamed green beans.

Recipe I used: https://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/dinner/joy-of-cooking-guyanese-pepperpot

Overall Level of Effort: 2

Skill Level: Beginner

Would Make it Again? Yes

Additional Notes: I loved the flavor of this dish. Perhaps it would be a bit different if I’d used cassareep but the substitute was a much more readily available way to get at that dark flavor so I think it was a worthy adjustment.

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