New Orleans Cuisine

My Creole & Cajun Recipe Page

This is my blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking! I'll give links to great Creole & Cajun recipes and sites, as well as some of my own recipes. I love talkin' New Orleans, food and otherwise! Incidentally, I'm from Detroit. Go Figure. Lets just say I figured out "what it means, to miss New Orleans" and this site helps ease the pain.

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"Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins."
-Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces

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Friday, March 18, 2005


Since I've been talking about smoking meats and sausage making, I may as well discuss the second most famous smoked meat of New Orleans Cuisine: Tasso (TAH-so). Tasso used to be made from the trim after a hog boucherie, thin strips, heavily seasoned, dried, then smoked for hours. It's a great seasoning meat for Gumbos, Jambalayas, Red Beans and just about every soup you could dream up. If you want to get really fancy make the Commander's Palace recipe Shrimp Henican, created by the late Jamie Shannon.
These days, the Tasso that you can buy is a little more fancy, more of a ham than the "jerky" style of the old days, mine is somewhere in between. I always find it amazing how these ingredients and recipes, that basically came from scrap and the poorest times, turned into Gourmet, I love it! Tasso is great to make and keep in the freezer, just as I described in My Andouille Recipe. When I make Andouille, I usually make some Tasso with it, it's very easy to make, but you have to do some planning. When you season it, I recommend keeping it in the fridge, at least 3 days, to let it cure. The last batch I made was beautifully pink inside after it was smoked, like ham. Unfortunately, I was a little heavy handed with the cayenne, which is fine for me, but my wife can't take the heat. It should have some heat, but I don't like losing control of the heat in a dish I'm making, the same reason you don't salt stocks. Here is my recipe for Tasso with the cayenne cut back. I use either a Boston butt cut into about 4 inch long, 1 inch thick pieces, or even better (and cheaper), Boneless Country Style ribs, as is. This is seasoning for about 5 lbs of pork:

My Tasso Recipe

5 lbs Pork cut as described above

3 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Cayenne or To Taste (see above)
4 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp White Pepper
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 healthy pinch Pink Meat Cure or Prague Powder

Mix the seasoning together well. Rub the seasoning into the meat, you want a lot on there, call it 1/8 inch, use it all. Place on a plate or tray, cover and refrigerate 3 days. Smoke using my method for about 3 -4 hours. Kill two pigs with one stone and make some Andouille with it.


Anonymous said...

Really useful info, lots of thanks for your post.

10:19 AM  

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