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Jamaican Pepperpot Recipe

Why It Works

  • The blended combination of callaloo and coco coronary heart (taro leaves) provides physique to the soup and provides it its signature vegetal and nutty taste profile.
  • Yam, spinners (dumplings), and coco (taro root) launch starch as they gently simmer, thickening the soup.

Pepperpot at a Look

There are two varieties of pepperpot within the Caribbean. First, there’s pepperpot in Guyana, a wealthy meat stew that’s made with cassareep (a syrup comprised of juice extracted from the bitter cassava) and simmered with seasonings till it has the colour and consistency of molasses. This, nonetheless, is to not be confused with pepperpot in Jamaica, a dish with West African roots, which is a scrumptious and extremely nutritious inexperienced soup made with callaloo, coconut milk, and salted pork and beef. A easy and healthful meal, Jamaican pepperpot is a basic one-pot dish that’s meant to be shared amongst many.

Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

In our model of Jamaican pepperpot, we use a mixture of pickled pig tail, cured salt beef, and beef chuck so as to add an irreplaceable layer of salty, smokey, meaty taste within the soup, earlier than including a coarsely pureed inexperienced combination of Callaloo and coco coronary heart. Callaloo is a Caribbean time period for leafy greens, usually amaranth, however it could discuss with totally different vegetation. Coco coronary heart refers back to the heart-shaped leaves of the taro (dasheen) plant. Yam, coco (taro root), and okra add sustenance to the soup. Typical seasonings like scallion, garlic, thyme, and Scotch bonnet improve taste, whereas little flour dumplings referred to as “spinners” and coconut milk end the hearty dish.

A Hyperlink To Historical past

Pepperpot was such a well-liked dish that by the late 18th century, it had develop into well-known past Jamaica within the American colonies (notably in Philadelphia, the place a wealth of west Indian migration had taken place.) There’s even a recipe for West Indian pepperpot within the New Artwork of Cookery revealed in Philadelphia in 1792. This recipe is sort of much like the Jamaican model of pepperpot and requires a mix of various meats, greens, and greens, together with dumplings product of flour and water. Past these staples, this model contains allspice, cloves, and mace, and is seasoned to be very spicy with cayenne pepper. Because the identify pepperpot signifies, it was historically a dish that ought to carry hearth to the mouth. 

For us, pepperpot is an ideal instance of the crossroads and linkages of pan-African tradition all through the world. Dishes, elements, flavors, and methods moved with the individuals who cooked them, which is why so a lot of our hottest Jamaican elements and dishes have such robust similarities to American soul meals.

Excellent for Entertaining

Jamaican soups are at all times wealthy, nourishing, and filling, and make for an inexpensive, straightforward, and laid-back option to entertain, particularly on the weekends. In Jamaica, we’ve got a weekly custom referred to as Saturday Soup, which is a type of impromptu open home. The host usually makes a giant pot or two of conventional soup and tells family and friends to drop in in some unspecified time in the future within the day for an early or late lunch. Pepperpot, together with classics like pink pea soup and pumpkin soup, is an everyday on Saturday Soup menus.

As soon as made, the soup stays scorching on the range and is served straight from the kitchen with thick, moist slabs of well-buttered hardo bread, liberal splashes of Pickapeppa-brand pepper sauce or do-it-yourself pepper sauce, and copious glasses of rum punch. These gatherings at all times run into the late afternoon or early night and are accompanied by plenty of noise, laughter, and good humored debate about island life—there’s really nothing extra quintessentially Jamaican than this.

Jamaican Pepperpot

This hearty soup, wealthy with slow-simmered greens, is ideal for laid-back weekend entertaining.

For the Soup:

  • 8 ounces (227g) pickled pig tail, reduce into 1-inch segments 

  • 4 ounces (113g) cured salt beef, salt pork, or salted pig’s tail, reduce into 1-inch items (see notes)

  • 4 ounces (113g) beef chuck, reduce into 1-inch cubes (elective)

  • 1 massive bunch callaloo (1 1/2 to 2 kilos; 680-910g), see notes

  • 1 pound (450g) coco coronary heart (taro leaves), kale, or spinach, rinsed effectively (see notes)

  • 1 pound (450g) yellow yam, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (see notes)

  • 1 pound (450g) coco (taro root), peeled and reduce into 1-inch cubes (see notes)

  • 12 items okra (6 ounces; 170g), reduce into 1-inch lengths

  • 1 inexperienced bell pepper (about 5 ounces; 142g), stemmed, seeded, and diced

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 complete Scotch bonnet peppers

  • 3 scallions, root ends trimmed

  • 3 springs recent thyme

  • 1 medium clove garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup (118ml) coconut milk from one 13.5-ounce (400ml) can

  • Freshly floor black pepper

  • 4 ounces (113g) janga (Jamaican freshwater shrimp; substitute crayfish or 16/20 shrimp), elective

For the Spinners (Dumplings):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6 3/4 ounces; 191g)

  • 1/2 cup (118ml) water

For Serving:

  • Buttered sliced Jamaican hardo bread, coco bread, or skinny cassava wafers, for serving

  • Pickapeppa sauce, for serving

  1. For the Soup: Place pig tail and cured salt beef in a big bowl and canopy with ample chilly water. Cowl, switch to fridge, and let soak for a minimum of 2 hours or as much as 12 hours. Drain and rinse.

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

  2. In a big inventory pot or Dutch oven, mix pickled pig tail, cured salt beef, and beef chuck, (if utilizing). Cowl meat with 3 1/2 quarts (910g) chilly water and produce to a boil over excessive warmth. Cowl, scale back warmth, and simmer (adjusting warmth as wanted to keep up simmer) till meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

  3. In the meantime, reduce any woody stems from callaloo leaves and separate leaves from stalks; discard stalks. Switch leaves to a medium bowl, add 1 teaspoon salt, then fill bowl with chilly water and stir vigorously to clean effectively of all particles or sand. Drain effectively, then repeat rinsing steps if wanted till water is obvious. 

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

  4. As soon as meat is tender, add callaloo and coco coronary heart to Dutch oven and simmer till greens are wilted and tender, about quarter-hour. Utilizing a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, take away cooked callaloo and coco coronary heart and switch to a blender jar together with 1 cup (237 ml) cooking liquid. Pulse combination in blender to a rough (however not totally clean) puree. Put aside.

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

  5. Add yam, coco, okra, and inexperienced pepper to Dutch oven and proceed to simmer, adjusting warmth as wanted.

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

  6. For the Spinners (Dumplings): In the meantime, in a small bowl, whisk collectively flour and a big pinch of salt. Add 1/2 cup (118ml) chilly water and knead till a dough ball kinds. Let relaxation quarter-hour. Tear off small items of dough and roll into cigarette-sized strips. Stir formed spinners (dumplings) into Dutch oven with Scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, thyme, and garlic. Return to simmer.

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

  7. As soon as simmering, add pureed greens to Dutch oven and proceed to prepare dinner for half-hour. Stir in coconut milk and prepare dinner till warmed by way of and soup has thickened barely, about quarter-hour. Stir in janga or shrimp, if utilizing, and simmer till opaque and simply cooked by way of, about 3 minutes. Season pepperpot with salt and pepper to style.

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

  8. For Serving: Take away Scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, and thyme sprigs. Serve pepperpot with buttered sliced hardo bread, coco bread, or skinny cassava wafers (which will be present in Caribbean grocery shops), and Pickapeppa sauce.

    Severe Eats / Karina Matalon

Particular Gear

Massive inventory pot or Dutch oven with lid, blender


A strain cooker could also be used rather than the Dutch oven on this recipe. If utilizing a strain cooker, in Step 2, cowl pot, carry to excessive strain, and prepare dinner beneath strain for half-hour. Fastidiously launch strain, and proceed with Step 3.

Cured salt beef, is a corned beef–like product bought in Jamaican and Caribbean markets, as are salt pork and salted pig tail.

Callaloo is a Caribbean time period for some varieties of leafy greens, however it could discuss with totally different vegetation relying on the context. In Jamaica, amaranth leaves are sometimes used, however taro (dasheen) leaves may also work. In a pinch, you’ll be able to substitute kale or collard greens as effectively.

Coco coronary heart are the heart-shaped leaves of the coco (taro) plant.

Coco is the Jamaican identify for taro root. You too can use eddoes, a relative of taro. 

Yellow yams can be found at Caribbean and a few African grocers. To chop yellow yams, rinse effectively beneath working water to take away any dust. Rub 1 teaspoon oil on palms (to type a lightweight protecting barrier from the slimy yam flesh) and peel. Instantly switch to a bowl of salted chilly water to forestall oxidation. Working with one yam at a time, cube, then return to salted water till prepared to make use of.

Make-Forward and Storage

Pepperpot will be refrigerated in an hermetic container for as much as 3 days.

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