Tasso, a highly seasoned, intensely flavored smoked pork, adds a wonderful flavor to a variety of dishes, from soups to jambalaya to pastas and seafood dishes. Easily obtainable in Louisiana or by mail order (see my sources link), but fun to make yourself. Here is Chef Alex Patout's recipe:
Trim the pork of all excess fat and cut it into strips about 1 inch thick and at least 4 inches long. Mix together the seasonings and place in a shallow pan. Roll each strip of pork in the seasoning mixture and place on a tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least overnight (preferable a couple of days).
- 8-10 pounds boneless pork butt
- 5 tablespoons salt
- 5 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons white pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder or granulated garlic
Prepare your smoker. Place the pork strips on a grill or rod and smoke until done, 5-7 hours. Don't let the smoker get too hot. Remove the meat and let it cool completely, then wrap well in plastic and foil. The tasso will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, and it also freezes very well.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)