Marv says to me, “I think I’m going to make some tasso next.” I say, “Okay. What’s that?” Cajun ham, very dense and flavorful, kinda like prochuitto but it’s cajun so it’s crusted spices on the outside. Hm. Sounds okay to me.


It’s better than okay. It’s super easy to make, incredibly flavorful and versatile. I’ve been using it as a less fatty bacon, in salads, pasta, on sandwiches in soup. You don’t need very much to add flavor and interest in foods. Marv took 3lbs to work and watched it disappear. (He doesn’t really work with enough people for that to be reasonable.)

Tasso is made from pork shoulder butt. It’s brined for a week or so and then rubbed with a spice mixture that has cayanne and garlic in it and then smoked for a relatively short amount of time – 3 to 5 hours or so. But, I suspect there are as many ways to make this as there are people making it.

Tasso, the Recipe

10+ lbs pork butt roast

1 3/4 c Tender Quick
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T black pepper
1 T ancho pepper
2 T onion powder
2 T garlic powder
1 gallon water

2 T ground mace
2 T garlic powder
2 T onion powder
1 T black pepper
1 T paprika
1 T chipotle powder
1 T dried sage
1 T dried thyme
2 T honey

Bone your pork butt if it’s not already boned. (Crikey, that’s a bad sentence.) Slice butt into large chunks 3″ x 3″ x however long the meat is. Combine all the brine ingredients and mix well. Put pork into a 2 gallon ziploc bag and pour the brine over it. Let it rest in your refrigerator for 5 days to a week.

Remove from refrigerator. Rinse and pat dry. Mix together rub ingredients and rub thoroughly. Hot smoke – 225°f – 250°f until internal temperature is 160°f – 165°f.

It will keep in your refrigerator for 1 – 2 weeks or you can freeze it for much longer.

Tasso Green Bean Salad

1 1/2 lb fresh green beans,
3/4 lb tasso, cut into thin strips 1″ in length or so
4 oz greyere, finely shredded

1/4 c wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 t mustard
pinch salt

Steam green beans until tender. While beans are steaming saute tasso until browned. Let both cool a bit. Combine the rest of the ingredients except for cheese. When cooled toss green beans, tasso, and vinigarette ingredients together. Toss in cheese and serve.

Tasso Sandwich

4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
1 t garlic powder
fresh basil, julienned
pinch salt
black pepper

tasso, thinly sliced
red pepper, roasted and sliced
hard sandwich rolls or french bread
olive oil

Mix together cheese with spices. Scoop out the insides of the rolls and feed them to my sister. Brush on a bit of olive oil and toast lightly on a griddle. Spread goat cheese mixture on the top bun and place tasso and red pepper on the bottom. Close sandwich and enjoy.

Missed Turn Stew

This is a recipe I already posted, but I made it with tasso rather that pork loin.


3 thoughts on “Tasso.

  1. WOW – your photographs are amazing!! It’s making my mouth water =P. Good luck on your cookbook project! I found your blog from the wordpress.com home page. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

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