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Tasso Time!!!

indaswamp

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Bought 60# of pork butt on sale this morning. Half of it is for processing into venison sausage later, the other half is in bags now curing. They hit the smoker this afternoon....
DSC02492.JPG

6 bags, 4# per bag. got about a 8 half pound slabs per bag. I'm gonna hang them on poles in the smokehouse this go around. Should get 20# or so after I smoke them.
 

swinefan

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I would like to see your Tasso recipe, I have been intrigued ever since my first New Orleans visit...
 

indaswamp

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Cure? For a few hours?
The meat is 1/2" slabs and there is cure solution between the slabs.

I flip the bags and squish the meat around every hour or so. I used a cure calculator. There is only 1/2 cup of liquid in the bag with 1 tsp. of cure. It'll turn pink, promise.
 

Rings Я Us

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I was just wondering if it would help the flavor in that time. I have only tried on chicken . :)
 

indaswamp

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The solution is a high enough concentration of cure to penetrate to the center of a 1/2 thick cut of meat in 7~8 hours. You could go as long as 12. The key here is not to stack the meat. What I do is pour 1TBSP. of the cure mixture between each piece as I stack them in a gallon ziplock, then after massaging the bag, I lay it on it's side in the ice chest so that the meat is vertical, not stacked flat. This allows the cure liquid to flow between the pieces when I flip the bags. <wink>

BTW, cure travels fast at the surface, but slows down the deeper it penetrates. The meat is only 1/2" thick and the cure is penetrating from both sides.....
 

biaviian

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What do you call on sale? I always wonder what people pay and feel is a good deal. A local store has them for $1.89 a pound this week and I see that as a great deal, compared to normal prices.
 

Rings Я Us

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That sounds good. I don't think I ever have heard of anyone here buying or making it. We don't have it in Michigan much I'm thinking. It's spicy and good for beans and soup though hey? Good luck and happy smoking.
 

indaswamp

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What do you call on sale? I always wonder what people pay and feel is a good deal. A local store has them for $1.89 a pound this week and I see that as a great deal, compared to normal prices.
$0.99/lb. is what I paid. Regular price has been running around $1.59~$1.79/lb. for double packs of butts.
 

indaswamp

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Just in time for processing deer at the end of the season....
 

indaswamp

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Started pulling the tasso out of the bags @4pm. Seasoned, on SS wire hooks, in the smokehouse to dry.

Season...

DSC02494.JPG


You want to coat the slabs of meat good but still be able to see the meat...about 1/2TBSP. (or more) per side.
Up close...

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SS wire hooks drying on paper towel after a good soak in bleach water..
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The seasoning...
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In the smokehouse to dry...
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That's 24# of tasso on the top rack. I still have 1 1/2 poles empty so could put 30# on the top rack easy and still get at least 1" of air space for good smoke.
 
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indaswamp

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Gonna smoke 'em with hickory pellets and pecan dust. But I gotta run the the store and pick up some more hickory pellets while the tasso dries.
 

indaswamp

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Put the wood on @ 6:30pm, good smoke rolling out da vents. Q-vue when I check it in about an hour.
 

indaswamp

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I would like to see your Tasso recipe, I have been intrigued ever since my first New Orleans visit...
Here ya go, along with some history of Tasso...
http://www.lpb.org/index.php/programs/folse_hooks_recipes/110_garfish_tasso

other firm fish can be substituted <hint, hint> I've even made tasso with nutria.
Same recipe for pork butt tasso, just substitute pork for the garfish.

I make a few changes:
1. If you follow the recipe as is, and mix the spices into the cure mixture, you will end up with a very salty, very highly seasoned product that you will not be able to eat alone as an hors d'oeuvre. I do not mix the seasoning into the cure mix. I season the meat when I pull it out of the cure.
2. I add cure #1 and recommend you do to. I use a cure calculator which takes into account the volume of liquid and the thickness of the meat to give you grams of cure #1 and the cure time. I like to use 4# of meat per bag because the cure works out to 4.7 grams or 1 tsp. of cure.
3. I add 1/4c. brown sugar to the seasoning mix. Looks like a lot of seasoning, but 1/5 or so of it is sugar. The sugar really sucks up the smoke.
 
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indaswamp

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I also shoot for 2.75~3% salt by weight. If you are looking to make a product for a charcuterie plate, or to fry up with some eggs for breakfast I recommend reducing to 2%.
 

indaswamp

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The good thing about making tasso while cutting up meat for sausage is that I can pick and choose the best cuts for the tasso. Sausage don't care if it gets ends and misshaped pieces, it's gonna be ground up anyways! I also trimmed the fat cap off the butt prior to slicing and set aside 9# of fat to add in the sausage. Less I got to buy later.
 

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