Tasso


Many cultures have their version of some kind of seasoned smoked pork. This is ours.  It's not pretty to look, at but boy is it good.  Tasso was traditionally made from leftover pieces of pork when the pig was butchered, and the spices and smoking were ways of preserving the meat.  Tasso is very spicy but once you try it you’ll be hooked.  If you've had great jambalaya in Louisiana and wondered why the jambalaya everywhere else is mediocre, the lack of tasso is probably a big part of the difference.  You can buy it on the internet or in markets int Louisiana, but homemade tasso is so much better.  Wait until pork loins are on sale and make some yourself.  It adds a great flavor to a variety of dishes, from soups to jambalaya to pastas and seafood dishes.  Lastly, don't try to make tasso out of some really tender cut of pork.  All recipes I know of use it cut into small pieces and the tasso ends up cooking again.  If it isn't a little chewy it will fall apart.
 

1
whole pork loin
5 tbl
salt
1 tbl
cayenne pepper
2 tbl
black pepper
2 tbl white pepper
2 tbl paprika
1 tbl cinnamon
2 tbl granulated garlic

Trim the excess fat off the pork and cut it into slabs about ¾" inch thick.  Mix together the seasonings together well and then pour them in a shallow pan.  Place each piece of pork individually into the seasoning and coat them well on all sides as if you were coating them in flour for frying.  Place the pork in a resealable plastic container. Put the lid on and refrigerate at least overnight (preferably a couple of days).

Get your smoker started. Use pecan or oak, not hickory. Place the pork in the smoker and crank up the smoke. Leave it in the smoker for 4-5 hours. Make sure there is lots of smoke but don't let the smoker get above 200°-220°. Remove the meat and let it cool completely. Put it in resealable bags. It keeps forever in the freezer.

This what mine looks like just before going on the smoker.



And after it comes off the smoker.


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