By Celina DeCastro

This Amerindian dish is considered the national dish in Guyana. Often cooked during the Christmas or wintertime festivities, this stew-like dish can be served alongside Guyanese homemade white plait bread for dipping into the stew or with rice and beans. The flavor of this dish develops over time; it can be left un-refrigerated due to the cassareep for it acts as a preservation. If left un-refrigerated, heat it up to a boil and serve over and over to hungry friends and family who cannot wait until Christmas for this mouthwatering dish. This dish is best cooked a day before serving.

What you’ll need:

  • 5 lbs. of stewing beef or beef brisket
  • 1 lbs. of pork trotters or cow’s heels (optional)
  • 1 lbs. of pig tails or ox tails (optional)
  • 1 cup of Amerindian seasoning (cassareep)
  • 3 red hot peppers of your choice.
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 stalks of basil
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp of granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp of cayenne powder
  • 4 tbsp of oil

What to do:

  1. Season oxtail or pigtail with 1/3 of the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and other ingredients except the cinnamon, whole cloves, sugar and pepper. Add 1/3 of the cassareep. Set mixture aside.
  2. Repeat this step to marinade the beef and cow heel.
  3. In a large stock pot, add 2 tbsp of oil and saute 1/3 of the onion and garlic cloves on high heat.
  4. Add the seasoned beef, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and pepper. Saute until beef are brown all over.
  5. Once meat has turned brown, add about 6 cups of water and bring to a boil on high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer
  6. Warm about 1 tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker set to high heat. Add seasoned oxtail or pigtail and add 1/3 of onion and garlic. Saute until brown and then add 5 cups of water. Cover and cook until oxtail or pigtail is tender.
  7. Repeat step 6 to cook cow heel.
  8. Add oxtail to the beef and mix together, then add cow heel to mixture and mix together.
  9. Add 2 cups of water, enough to cover the meat, and use remaining cassareep.
  10. Increase the heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Let it bowl for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Reduce the heat and let simmer on low heat, let it simmer for 2.5 hours until meat is falling off the bone.
  12. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and salt to taste if needed. Mix seasoning in until satisfied with taste.
  13. Serve to hungry friends or family

 

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