Smoked Tasso Ham
I was introduced to Tasso in Lake Charles, LA while down there on a work assignment many years ago.
Here is my version.
I started by picking up a boneless pork roast (from the shoulder), and sliced it into 3/4 - 1" thick steaks.
I then combined the following to create the spice mixture that I rubbed it with.
5 Lbs pork
2.5 Tablespoons Morton Tender Quick (1/2 tablespoon per lb)
2 Tablespoons Naturiffic Sea Salt
3 Tablespoons hot Chipotle powder (instead of the traditional Cayenne)
3 Tablespoons Cracked Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons granulated garlic
Tasso is typically cured for a short period, so I put it in fridge overnight with the TQ where is sat for probably 12-14 hours (a little longer than normal, so I made sure to give it a good rinse in the morning.
Here is the pork rubbed and ready to go into the fridge overnight.
Here it is after an overnight sleep in the fridge, ready to go onto smoker.
Since I want the Tasso to be heavily smoked, the smoker is running at a low temp of 200-210, and these will smoke until they hit ~165 internal (about 4-5 hours)
Here are some progress shots...notice the moisture still seeping from the pork? You want all this moisture to be gone by the time you remove it.
Once done, these pork steaks will have rendered out most of their fat, and will have shrunk down considerably
Here is what it looks like sliced.
Here is what is looks like cubed. ( I prefer to cube Tasso, so I can just toss it in freezer, and use cubes as need to season stews, beans, etc.)
Now one could stop right here, because these little morsels of meat pack a mighty flavor punch to them, and are wonderful eaten just as is.
Of course, I had something else in mind.
I soaked some beans. These are" Eye of the Goat" beans from Rancho Gordo
Into boiling water I tossed the beans, onion flakes, and Tasso..nothing else is needed.
Almost done (after 2 hours of simmering)
Served with a chunk of corn bread.