|Shoulder, Ventreche, Jambon and Back Fat|
The best part of the month was that I attended the Stonyman Gourmet Farmer Cochon & Charcuterie: A Workshop from Gascony in Virginia's Blue Ridge taught by Kate Hill and French butcher Dominique Chapolard. I now dream of bringing home a half of cochon and delicately disassembling the muscles into beautiful cuts of pork. We were given the products of Dominique's work and that is the source of my pork that I smoked for this challenge. I enjoyed the day with fellow Charcutepaloozers and area chefs that attended the workshop. We had a wonderful lunch prepared by Susan and Alan James with perfect wine selections from Gascony region in southwest France.
|Dry Cure on Tasso|
|Cured, rubbed and ready for the Smoker|
I kept the smoker temperature around 200 degrees. I put an oven thermometer on the same rack as the meat. The thermometer in the door registered about 20 degrees lower. It took about three hours to get the meat to an internal temp of 150. Doesn't it look good? The best thing about making Tasso is that you must use it in Jambalaya. I make a pretty mean Cajun style Jambalaya. My first cooking class in 1985 was a three hour session at the New Orleans School of Cooking. I learned how to make a great roux, gumbo, jambalaya and bread pudding with a bourbon sauce. I have adapted these techniques and recipes over the years to make them my own.
1/2 cup red-brown roux (see below)
2 cups chopped onion (half red, half sweet yellow)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (half red, half green)
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic minced
3/4 lb Tasso chopped
1 lb Andouille Sausage sliced
Chrystal Hot Sauce to taste
1 teaspoon Cayenne (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
|Dark Brown Roux|
To make the roux, stir 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup flour over medium low heat until it turns deep red-brown. Be patient, keep stirring so it doesn't burn. (You can make larger portions and refrigerate for later use) Add trinity: onions, peppers and celery to the hot roux and cook until soft, stirring frequently. I love the smell of the trinity and roux when it first comes together.
|Trinity and Meats in the Roux|
|Cold Smoked Andouille|
|Look at that smoke ring on the Tasso|
This Tasso was amazing. The flavor, spices, smoke and high quality pork made for a yummy jambalaya.
Season the pot with the Chrystal Hot Sauce, cayenne, thyme to taste. I also add Meat Magic at this point. For variations, you can add some sauteed chicken breasts or thighs.
|Ready for the Oven|
|Fluff and Check Seasoning before you serve|
|Spicy Smoked Pork Shoulder with Oinkjoint Jambalaya|
I shredded some of the spicy pork shoulder that I smoked with the Tasso and served it on the side.