Tasso Recipes ToTry

By Chef JJ here edited slightly by me.

Put half in with the cure/brine. Once cured rub the other half on the well-dried pork before smoking. This anticipates the cure/brine having a good salt level as there is none here. It also is for 5 lbs of pork shoulder cut into small strips.

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

He added:  “BTW if you add 4T Kosher salt to that Recipe it makes a Killer Blackening Spice, Add 1 Cup Raw Sugar along with the salt and you got a great Pork and Poultry Rub. I left the Salt and Sugar out because it’s in Pop’s Brine already”

Someone else said they pound the seasoning in with a tenderizing hammer.

Nepas at SMF said the recipe at Nola Cuisine is good.


Credit for all below goes to NolaCuisine.com

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.”

“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

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


Five pounds tasso
Standing time: 3 days
Smoking time: 4 to 12 hours

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt = 18.1 + 6.03 = 24 gm
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar = 15.9 + 2 x 5.3 = 26 gm
4 tablespoons black pepper = 4 x 7.62 = 30 gm
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white pepper = 2 x 7.36 + 2.45 = 17 gm
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 teaspoons ground red pepper (preferably cayenne) = 2 x 7.6 + 1.25  x 2.53 = 18 gm
3 tablespoons garlic powder = 3 x 8.34 = 25 gm
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 x 8.19 + 1 x 2.73 = 22  gm
2 tablespoons plus 1 3/4 teaspoons cumin = 2 x 5.88 + 1 x 1.96 = 14 gm
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika = 2x 6.78 + 2.5 x 2.26 = 19 gm
1 tablespoon plus 2 1/4 teaspoons gumbo file powder (optional) = 1 x 5.8 + 2.25 x 1.93 = 10 gm
5 pounds boneless pickled pork butt, see text above

1. Mix all ingredients, except pork butt, together.

2. Dry the pork butt off with a paper towel. Roll the pork in the seasoning mix, coating the meat completely, and pat it in well. Let the seasoned meat sit in the refrigerator covered for 3 days.

3. After the 3 days, smoke it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I smoked two pieces in my smoker with hickory chips for about 12 hours. Another two pieces I smoked in the oven of my electric range, using liquid smoke. They came out great both ways.

From Turning Pork Butt Into Tasso Is An Old Cajun TrickMay 16, 1985, by Merle Ellis.

Romeo Nadeau, Tasso Maker

Pat Baldridge, a great cook and food editor of the State Times-Morning Advocate in Baton Rouge, put me in touch with Romeo Nadeau, who, she says, “makes one of the best tassos in Louisiana.” I called him:

“There are about as many recipes for tasso in this part of the country as there are Cajuns, but I’ll be happy to tell you how I make mine,” he said. “I use Boston butts, pork shoulder butts, cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches thick. I put the meat down in a pickle made of 2-1/2 gallons of ice water, 2-1/2 pounds of salt, 1/2 pound of sugar and 1/2 pound of cure for every 50 pounds of meat. Let it set in that cure in the cooler for a couple of days. It won’t need to cure any longer because you’ve cut the meat in strips and the cure penetrates pretty fast.

“When you take the meat out of the pickle, rinse it good, let it dry a bit, then sprinkle it good with granulated garlic and rub that in. Then cover that sucker with cayenne pepper till it won’t take no more. Don’t rub the pepper in–just pat it on real heavy. When it won’t take no more, let it stand for about an hour at room temperature till it gets kind of tacky to the touch.

“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.”

Found at http://articles.latimes.com/1985-05-23/food/fo-8336_1_pork by Merle Ellis. That was the same text as published in the Chicago Tribune linked on this page.

For Lynn Poli’s cajun tasso recipe click here.

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