This is an interesting recipe because the two most famous Pepper Pots are entirely different from this and from each other. Jamaica Pepper Pot cannot rightfully be made without cassareep (the juice of the bitter cassava) and includes crab or lobster, and Philadelphia Pepper Pot includes shredded tripe.
This eighteenth-century recipe from Hertfordshire is simple and good. All three versions probably have a common ancestry. The stew should burn the mouth, but not fiercely. Serve with thick slices of fresh brown bread and unsalted butter.
In a very large saucepan, fry the onions in
Fry the bacon strips lightly in the remaining butter and add them to the pan. Pour in enough water to come almost up to the level of the bacon. Sprinkle the bacon with
Meanwhile make the dumplings. Drop them into the stew and cook for a further 15 minutes. Lift out the dumplings and keep hot on a small dish. Mix all the layers of the Pepper Pot well together and add the remaining cayenne pepper. Ladle or pour the whole stew into a wide serving dish and set the dumplings round the edge.
©1980 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton