Homemade Tasso Recipe

Tasso (TAH-so) is a smoked seasoning meat used to flavor dishes like Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Red Beans & Rice. Tasso used to be made from the trim after an Acadian Hog Boucherie, thin strips, heavily seasoned, dried, then smoked for hours. These days however, most of the Tasso that is available is a little more fancy, more of a ham than the style of the old days, mine is somewhere in between. I always find it amazing how ingredients and recipes, that basically came from scrap and the poorest times evolve into Gourmet, I love it. Tasso will keep in the freezer and is pretty easy to make, but you have to do a little planning.
A few Tips:
After seasoning it, I recommend keeping it in the fridge, at least 3 days to let it cure, look at how nice and pink the center is.
Take it easy on the Cayenne when making your seasoning blend, start off with a small amount, then add to your taste, the amount here is moderate. It should have some heat, but I don’t like losing control of the heat in a dish I’m cooking because my Tasso was too hot, so I cut it back a little, for the same reason that you don’t salt stocks.
Here is my recipe for Tasso. I used a Boneless Pork Roast cut into about 4-5 inch long, 1/2 to 1 inch thick slices. This is seasoning for about 5 lbs of pork:

Homemade Tasso Recipe

5 lbs Pork cut as described above
Seasoning:

3 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tsp Cayenne or To Taste (see above)
4 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp White Pepper
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

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.

Before smoking put the Tasso on an elevated rack so that air can circulate around it, then put a fan on it for about 2 hours to dry it out. I also don’t use a water pan when smoking Tasso, this is something that I actually want to dry out during the smoking process.

I hot smoked this batch in an inexpensive upright barrel smoker using charcoal as the heat source (heated with a chimney starter, no lighter fluid or matchlight coals please.) I used Pecan chips that were soaked in water for 1 hour for the smoke.
I smoked this a total of about 4 hours, the first 2 hours at about 150-160 degrees F. The second two hours at 180-190 degrees F.
The object is to get as much smoke into the meat, before cooking it all the way through. I brought the internal temperature of the meat to 150 degrees F in the last 2 hours of smoking.
When finished I again put the Tasso in front of a fan for about 1 hour. Refrigerate. When completely cold portion and store the Tasso in vacuum sealed packages. Freeze.

Makes 5 lbs of Tasso

Related Links:

Andouille Sausage Recipe
Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Pickle Meat Recipe
More on Tasso:
Check out these Pics at Egullet of Wayne Jacob’s beautiful Tasso and Andouille, made the old way in LaPlace, Louisiana.

22 thoughts on “Homemade Tasso Recipe”

  1. I’m glad to get this recipe -My granddaughter in Seattle, WA LOVES tasso. I bought some at Leo’s in Galvestin some years back and mailed it to her (for graduation present – it is ratheer expensive to do it that way, I’ll bet this is really good.

  2. dude, this is killer!!! im studying to be a chef in NZ (new zealand) and and doing a cajun/creole style restaurant for a project that i have to do, but this is something that i think that would be big here as well as people here are into homekill meat and using naturally homegrown flavours!!! its interesting to see how tasso and andouille is made, as id love to try and replicate it here, with the help of my lecturers though!!!! Anyway the site is uber helpful!!!!!!! cheers!!!! :D
    james

  3. I can’t wait to try this receipe. I want to make shrimp and grits and the ingredients calls for tasso. Will let you know how it turns out!

  4. Great tasso recipe – I used a whole boneless pork loin (10 lbs) cut into pieces 10″x2″x1″. Next time, I’ll cut the salt a bit and increase the cure time to 5 days. Used a modified Brinkman smoker – there’s plenty of resources on how to improve the performance of the Brinkman on the web. Now I just have to make the tasso, sausage and chicken jambalaya for the Super Bowl!

  5. I *LOVE* your Red Beans & Rice recipe. It’s a hit with the family. Just FYI…I found this website while searching for a grocery store that sells Tasso. I have not tried it yet, but it seems like it’s a pretty good place to order from. http://www.pochesmarket.com/

  6. A couple of other recipes say to rinse the spice off before smoking and pat dry. I noticed in your picture it looked like the spice was still there. I used a Smokin Tex and believe me, you can get all the smoke on it you want. Your thoughts?

  7. Danno,
    What cut do you use for this recipe? You call for pork roast, which is somewhat ambiguous. I used Boston butt and it turned out great. Just wondering what you use. I would think you have tried several different cuts. What worked best for you?

  8. Hi, I’m glad I found this website. The recipes remind me of childhood. Question, I want to try this tasso recipe but I don’t eat pork. Can you suggest another meat that would work? I usually season with smoked turkey.

  9. what is the final internal temperature on the pork when it should be taken out of the smoker?Thanks!!

  10. This recipe looks great! I’m a bit confused though, regarding the cut of pork. The photo appears to have a pork loin, after seasoning and smoking. In the recipe, it refers to the pork being- “cut into about 4-5 inch long, 1/2 to 1 inch thick slices”. I would guess that is *after* the curing/smoking process, from the photo. Can you clarify this?

    Thanks again for the time & efforts!

    John (aka Working.Man)

  11. This recipe looks great! I’m a bit confused though, regarding the cut of pork. The photo appears to have a pork loin, after seasoning and smoking. In the recipe, it refers to the pork being- “cut into about 4-5 inch long, 1/2 to 1 inch thick slices”. I would guess that is *after* the curing/smoking process, from the photo. Can you clarify this?

    I’m also a little confused here. I make a peppered smoked meat that was for beef eyes or round. I have been using this recipe for years for game meat. It is a wet brine method. This looks like an attractive alternative to mine.

    Jim

  12. Danno,

    I am not familiar with Tasso, but apparently it is a necessary incredient in many of the recipes here…I will make some soon, but would like to see the finished product – your photo link appears to be broken.

    Thanks – Ron

  13. Again , I apologize, it must be something to do with my work firewall…I see it on my phone and home computer…thanks – Ron

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