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Christmas Guyanese pepperpot

A Traditional Guyanese Christmas breakfast that is truly a one-of-a-kind type of stew due to the bittersweet flavour of cassareep, it has the consistency to molasses and is made from extracting and boiling the juices of aged cassava root.  There are many variations to this stew with using a combination of pork and beef, or chicken. In this recipe I’m using mutton, which is lamb over two years old, perfect for a slow braised dish. 



  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white vinegar
  • 3-4 lbs. mutton, bone-in or boneless
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced ginger
  • 1/4 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Guyanese thyme leaves, divided
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cassareep, divided
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Guyanese dried basil, rinsed (aka married-man pork)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cloves, whole
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3-4 wiri wiri peppers, whole or 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 homemade Guyanese Plait or Cassava Bread, sliced for dipping


  1. Trim excess fat from meat. Add the mutton to a large bowl with water to cover, add vinegar and rinse. Drain and discard the water.
  2. Marinate the meat by adding the garlic, ginger, onions, one tablespoon thyme leaves and 1/2 cup cassareep. Rub marinade over the meat and set aside.
  3. Fill a 6-quart (six litre) Dutch Oven 1/2 way up with water and place over medium-high heat, add one teaspoon salt.
  4. Add the meat in batches, bring up to a boil, add remaining ingredients, lower to simmer for approximately two hours or until meat is fork tender and stew thickens. Add more cassareep for a thicker stew and adjust salt to taste.
  5. Serve on Christmas morning for breakfast or brunch with a slice of homemade bread for dipping.
  6. TIP: Make this scrumptious stew a day ahead as it tastes better over time.

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