Caribbean Recipes Of The Week – Grenada Oil Down And Guyana Pepperpot


oil-down By Minna Lafortune

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 30, 2016: As the seasons change, so too must you consider changing the foods you eat to repair the body and provide nutrients and energy for each season.

Now that summer is officially over and as the chill of Autumn sets in, foods to prove warmth and comfort will be repeated throughout the season into the winter months. One pot meals, particularly soups, stews and casseroles will be popular on brunch, lunch and dinner menus.

This is also an opportunity to try new dishes.  Two dishes that I am looking to trying are one pot stews from Grenada call “Oil Down” and Pepper pot”  from Guyana.

Oil down, Grenada’s national dish, is a hearty stew is made of dasheen leaves, breadfruit, yams or potatoes green bananas and salted meat and aromatic spices. Here is the recipe:


8-10 dasheen (calallo) leaves
1 sprig chive and thyme
2 medium carrots chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper
6  to 8 dumplings
2 tsp turmeric (saffron)
2 lbs salted meat (pre-soaked overnight)
1 large breadfruit pealed and sliced
2 cups coconut milk
1 medium onion


Wash and peel breadfruit. Cut into 8 sections. Remove center lengthways of each section and cut into half crosswise.
Wash meats cut into pieces and rinse in lime juice and water.
Put salted meat into cold water, bring to a boil and drain. Repeat 3 times to remove preserving salt. Cook until just tender and drain.
Remove skins of onion, rinse and cut into small pieces. Chop dasheen leaves coarsely. Chop chives into small pieces.
Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil until onion is pale yellow.
Mix coconut milk and turmeric.
Add all ingredients into large pot, bring to a boil and let simmer for approximately an hour or until liquid is absorbed.
Remove pepper.
Serve hot.

guyana-pepperpotPepperpot, the national dish of Guyana,  is an Amerindian meat stew which uses cassareep. Cassareep is a preservative made from grated cassava and flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar. The Amerindians developed cassareep as a way of preserving meats in the days before refrigeration.


1 lb stewing beef or 1 lb beef brisket
1 lb pork, trotters (or cow’s heels) (optional)
1⁄2 lb pigs tail (optional)
1⁄2 cup cassareep
1 red hot pepper
1 cinnamon stick (1 in x 1 in)
1 ounce sugar
2 stalks basil
1 bunch fine fresh thyme
1 large chopped onion
3 chopped garlic cloves

Note: cassareep can be found in some supermarkets among other Caribbean condiments, spices and products


Soak pig tails and scald.
Cook cow heel or trotters in covered pan with water to boil.
When half tender add all the other meats hot water to cover.
Add all other ingredients and simmer gently for about one hour until meat is tender.
Adjust flavor with salt and sugar.

Note: This dish develops flavor when left over a period of days. If left unrefrigerated, it must be reheated to a boil every day. Pepperpot is popularly served with dense bread and butter, though it is equally as good with rice or roti.

Bon Appetite

EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at