Tasso – Third try

This cook follows closely the Cure Calculator plus Chef JJ’s brine/rub. Turned out great other than the MES failing after 2 hours then overcooking the thin pieces in the convection oven until they were a bit tough. See advice at bottom of this post on times and temps. The brine/rub and cure process worked out fine.

7 pm, Monday, 2/6/2017 – Trimmed never-frozen bone-in Country style pork ribs. Cut out bones and fat. Remaining weighs 1551 gm (3.4 lbs.). Plus the 1 qt water (964 gm) the total is 2515 gm.

Planning 1 qt water (964 gm) totaled 2515 gm (5.54 lbs.). From DigginDogFarm’s Calculator for 2515 gms mixed up this in one quart of water.

Cure No. 1 – 6.28 g
Kosher Salt – 44.41 gm
Turbinado Sugar – 25.55 gm

Added a portion of the rub below from Chef JJ at SMF. He said this is for 5 lbs and we had only ~3.4 lb. He said to put half into the cure/brine. Once the meat is cured, dry it and rub in the other half.

4T Black Pepper
4T White Pepper
4T Paprika
4T Gran Garlic
4T Gran Onion
4T Mustard powder
2 tsp Dry Thyme
2 tsp Dry Oregano
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

So, we portioned out 2/3 (3.5 lb of 5 lb) of the recipe above then divided that in half. Added half to the quart of water with cure+salt+sugar and mixed well. Then added the meat strips. Turned bags over several times almost every day.

Friday 2/10/2017 about 8 PM after Pipers Birthday party.  – Remove cured meat from cure after 4 days, rinse, and dried with paper towels. Shook on the other half of Chef JJ’s blend and pound in with a meat tenderizer hammer.  The pieces are well coated.

Sunday, 2/12/2017, 7 AM – After 1.5 days resting with the rub, removed rubbed meat from ziplock and spread on a grid on a sheet pan to dry out.

11:00 AM – Smoke process was to bring MES up to 135 with PitMaster pellets in AMAZEN tray. Inserted meat with Air Probe on the underside of grate above the meat. Air probe is above left of the lip of the baffle/tray so near the rising column of heat. It got up to 190. Adjusted MES so Air Probe reads 135 and left there for 1 hour.

12:00 Noon – IT is 106  and air probe is 134

12:30 PM – IT is 108. Air probe is 134 and box is 133

1:30 – IT is 121. Air Probe is 168 and box reads 176

2:00 – IT is 114???

2:30 MES has stopped heating so it only got 2 hours of smoke. Connection in the back must have failed again. [actually it was the snap switch.] Moved the grid onto the tray and took inside to the convection over set at 275.

Open door several times to let moisture out.

4:30 Open oven door and turn the heat off. The meat is looking dark like at Boudreaux’s and even the larger pieces are beginning to feel firm. Let it sit in warm oven with the door open to dry.

Removed the grid from the oven after 15-20 minutes and let the meat come to room temp. About 5:30 vac packed them in small lots and froze. The taste is smoky roasted pepper seasoning. Not salty but need to mellow some. Definitely, ham color as the meat is pinkish, rosey color.

After vac packing and being frozen for it ok but tough and hard little chunks when chopped up.

Next Time – Do not try so hard to dry it out. Let some of the fat remain so it is not like jerky. This cook was screwed up as the MES quit so there was only 2 hours smoke then 2 hours in the convection oven. Even at 275 the thin pieces were overcooked.

Smoking Styles:

  1. “smoke tasso at 175-200 degrees F for two and a half hours” per Nola Cuisine.
  2. “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.”
  3. “Put the meat in the smokehouse and let it set for an hour at 135 degrees with the damper open. Then close the damper down to 1/4 open, kick the temperature up to 175 degrees and pour the smoke to it till the internal temperature of the meat reaches 150 degrees. That’s all there is to tasso.” 

Primarily followed http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/115287/wet-cured-tasso but also extracts from Tasso Recipes page at this site.

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