Tasso and such - All the goodness of Southern Louisiana Food

Discussion in 'Pork' started by cajuncpo, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

    Being from Opelousas, Louisiana I grew up with Tasso, Boudin, Smoked Andouille, Gumbo, Cracklins, Chicken Sauce Pican, Shrimp Etoufee, etc being the staples of everyday life. Living in North Florida I don't get the chance to get back HOME much anymore. So, I've taken to making my own Sausage, Boudin, and Tasso.  So far things are working out ok.  Miss going back every once in a while to pass a good time and see the family, but time and money always seem to get in the way.  Anyway, after being gone from home since 1981 - and spending 29+ years in the Navy - I still crave all that crazy food we all ate while growing up.  Even have my San Diego-born wife and our adult children hooked on all of it.

    Last Sunday we made a few Shrimp Po'Boys and Sha I tell you dem tings was Sa Se Bon!  Made some Shrimp Creole a few weeks ago, homemade Red Beans & Rice with Tasso, and even a few batches of Beignets.  Life around here is never dull when it comes to food.  Anyhow, today I've got a small 1 1/2 lb batch of Tasso in the works right now - trying to dry it some before it goes in the smoker this morning. I'm using Pork Tenderloin that we got at Sam's yesterday. Have used London Broil and Turkey in the past as well. I don't have a family recipe so I've been going with the NOLA Cuisine spice recipe. And, so far so good. Have done a few batches since last November when I got my MES 30".  

    Anyhow, here's where we're at so far today. Finally found me some Pecan wood chips at the local ACE Hardware store, so that's going to be way we smoke with today.  More later...

    Tasso Drying Out - sorta

    Lunch last Sunday here at home...
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
    redheelerdog likes this.
  2. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm in. I've never seen tasso made so I'm really interested.

  3. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok CPO, being from nj. Tasso Ham is a new word for me. I know it's made from the shoulder and cut into steaks . But what is your cure? And how long?
    Inquiring Northerners want to know!!!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

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  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Last Sundays lunch looks darn good!

    cajuncpo likes this.
  6. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter


    Here's the recipe I've used several times before and it comes out great every time. I first saw it referenced several months ago here on the forum. The heat it packs and the flavor from the seasoning and the Pecan wood smoke that it adds to other foods is great.


    Surprisingly it doesn't call for any cure and as such I haven't used any either. Although I haven't had any issues up to this point I won't tell you not to use any.  However if I did use cure I'd use Prague Powder (Cure #1) which is the same one I put in my Smoked Cajun Sausage recipe. As for curing time, the recipe says to put it in the refrigerator for a few days. However, since our refrigerator doesn't have that amount of unused space I usually season it the day before and let it set in the refrigerator until the next morning. 

    As for what meat to use, that can be a loaded questions. Most of the Cajun-based foods from way-back-when were pork products.  Pork was abundantly available back in the Olden Days and as such it's the default meat you'll like see used in most recipes from that area. However, I've used London Broil, Top Round, and even Chuck Roast, as well as Turkey. It really depends on what type of meat product you like.  My wife, being from So California, likes beef tasso because of the flavor. I like to use pork the most because to me it's a lighter textured meat and has the type of flavor I grew up with. The shop back home that I buy from - whence I get back home - has both Pork and Turkey.

    As for the the cut of meat, that too depends. I've never cut any of my pork for Tasso into steaks. Usually cut it into a palm sized piece about 1/4" to 1/2" thick so that when the smoking / cooking is done and we put it in the freezer we're not having to defrost a big piece when we want to use some. The smaller pieces are the right size for what what we use it for, mainly Gumbo, Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, and even as a seasoning with Smoked Andouille (when we make rice and gravy). 

    There's a ton of Tasso threads here on the forum.  

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  7. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

  8. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

    Finished smoking everything. Came out OK. Not as good a usual.  I let the internal temp get to 160*, mainly because I got a little distracted doing other things around the house,

     so the meat does not have that nice pinkish color. Also, there's no smoke ring like usual.  However it smells great.  Next time I'm going to season it and let it set in the reefer for 3 days, not 24 hours, before I smoke it.  

  9. dog1234

    dog1234 Smoke Blower


    I live n good ole Breaux Bridge, LA................. Love the foods we have around here on almost every corner............. You Tasso looks good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NICE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in the process of protecting a smoked sausage (deer&pork).
  10. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Awesome! We need some more good recipes on the site. I put Tones Cajun seasoning on my blackened steaks, does that count? LOL! [​IMG]

    The Tasso and PBs look great! Glad you guys are here.

  11. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

    Tony's is good on just about anything ! I usually use it to season my ribs before we smoke them. A little less kick than the Tasso seasoning but great nonetheless.
  12. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

    Ah yes Breaux Bridge. I have a former sister in law that lives there. I miss the little corner stores back home. Always get my Louisiana made foods from Kelly's Meat Block in Opelousas when we come down for a visit. They've got a mixed smoked sausage that I'm trying to duplicate here but so far haven't gotten the recipe right yet. Guess ill just have to keep making sausage until I get it right :pot:

    So how'd the sausage turn out?
    I've got about 5 pounds of smoked beef/pork andouille in the freezer I made a month or so back. Gonna take a link or two of it, slit it open, and use it to stuff a pork tenderloin. Then smoke it with some pecan wood. There was a post here on the forum where someone had done the same thing with a tenderloin.

    Put some pork belly curing in the refrigerator yesterday too. There always something to smoke, grind, stuff, or cure abound here.
    [ATTACHMENT=2971]image.jpeg (766k. jpeg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

    Should make an interesting Labor Day meal.
  13. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    That looks delicious, bookmarked. Thanks Chief.
  14. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yes, I have some Tony Cacheries also.

    I am talking about Tones Cajun Seasoning...

  15. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

    The hardest part about making Tasso, in my opinion, is not cooking and eating it while it sits in the refrigerator and soaks in all the spices applied to it.
    Below is a link to NOLA.Com where I got the recipe I use. It's got some kick so just be careful you don't start chewing on a piece of it like Jerky after its done smoking!


  16. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

    I stand corrected. I had forgotten about the Tones brand. :icon_cool:.
  17. kajun58

    kajun58 Fire Starter

    Country style pork ribs boneless make an excellent Tasso also. That's what my grandfather used back in the days in Church Point, La. The heart of Cajun Country. Happy smokin!!
  18. cajuncpo

    cajuncpo Fire Starter

    Gonna try my hand at making some Beef Tasso this weekend. Already on the hook for making some mixed pork/beef Andouille, straight up beef Andouille, boudin, and trying to put some chicken sausage together. All told about 40 pounds of meat being processed here. Heck, I have 12 pounds of it already spoken for - for monetary "donations" of $5 a pound. Not really sure how theTasso is going to turn out either, but I have someone who doesn't want pork products, so gonna try beef instead. Planning to cut up a chuck roast tomorrow evening after work, season the crap outta it, put it in a vacuum sealed bag, and let it marinate in the refrigerator until Saturday morning when all the smoking begins. Man I love the smell of Cherry 'n Pecan wood smoke in the morning. :yahoo:

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