Meat times – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


We are a meat-loving nation. Meat is a good source of protein and most meals are built around a succulent and tasty meat dish. Chicken is the most consumed meat in TT, with beef running a close second, followed by duck and goat. Oxtail is stewed creole style and also enjoyed in oxtail soup. Common foul or yard fowl is enjoying increased popularity, but beware, as some may be imported roosters. Lamb has increased in popularity, but mostly at food outlets. Many people still don’t cook lamb at home, probably because cooks are yet to be convinced that family members would enjoy it. Rabbit, delicious and healthy, is gaining in popularity but supply tends to be inconsistent.

Too much meat can become unhealthy, so enjoy in moderation. And, as always, variety is the spice of life, so vary your meats and your recipes.

Split roasted chicken with guava rum glaze

1 4½ lb chicken, split into two, washed and cleaned


2 tbs red wine vinegar

4 cloves garlic minced

2 tbs fresh oregano, chopped or minced

2 tbs minced chives

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbs olive oil

Combine all the marinade ingredients and rub onto the chicken, taking care to get the marinade under the skin as well. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F

Place the chicken on a baking rack and place in oven, cook for about 40 minutes until browned on both sides.

Baste chicken with guava glaze, turn and baste other side.

Do not leave too long in the oven with the glaze it will burn easily.

Guava rum glaze

1 cup guava paste

2 tbs ketchup

4 tbs white vinegar

2 tsp yellow mustard

1 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs molasses

¾ tsp cumin

¼ tsp each allspice and nutmeg

2 tsp grated onion

2 tsp minced garlic

4 tbs rum

salt to taste

2 tbs vegetable oil

In a small saucepan, heat vegetable oil, add onion and garlic, stir to combine, add the rest of the ingredients, cook slowly until well combined and smooth.

Cook until bubbly.

Remove from heat and baste chicken.

Makes about 1 cup.

Refrigerate unused glaze, it would keep for up to 2 weeks

You can use this on grilled mahi mahi or kingfish fillets or grilled steak as well.

Stewed oxtail with cinnamon dumplings

2 lbs oxtail, sliced into ¾ inch pieces

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tbs minced chives

1 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs chopped celery

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 tbs brown sugar

1 large sprig French thyme

1 pimento pepper, seeded and chopped

¼ tsp allspice powder

1 large onion chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 cloves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim meat of fat, season with garlic, chives, vinegar and celery. Set aside for one hour.

Heat oil in a sauté pan, add sugar and caramelise to a dark brown colour, add oxtail slices and turn quickly, browning all pieces well, add the rest of the ingredients, turn well and season with salt and pepper.

Cook for a few minutes then turn heat to low and cover, let cook until tender, about 40 minutes, basting occasionally and adding water only if needed to prevent sticking.

Serves 4 to 6


2 cups flour

2 tsp butter

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and rub butter into flour until mixture is grainy, slowly pour water and knead to a stiff dough. Cover and let rest for about 30 minutes.

Divide dumpling dough into 2 pieces, roll each piece into a long rope like shape about 12 inches in length, cut into 3 inch lengths, flatten slightly and drop into boiling water, cook until dumplings float to the top of the pot then drop into oxtail stew and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Marinated grilled lamb in sesame, hoisin and garlic

2 tbs hoisin sauce

1 tbs Chinese chilli sauce

1 tsp rum

2 tbs ketchup

2 tbs brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbs soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs minced ginger

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs lamb shoulder chops, loin chops or boneless lamb about 1 to 1½ inches thick

Combine all ingredients except lamb, in a mixing bowl.

Rub onto lamb pieces.

Cover and marinate for 4 hours.

Preheat grill or broiler, cook chops for about 6 minutes per side.

Baste with zesty barbecue sauce.

Serves 4 to 6

Zesty barbecue sauce

1 tbs vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, grated or minced

1 cup tomato ketchup

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbs yellow mustard

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp rum

1 tsp hot pepper sauce

Heat oil in a small saucepan, add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, add all other ingredients and cook until mixture begins to boil.

Remove and cool.

Makes about 1½ cups