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What is tasso made from and how is it made?

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2 Answers 2

Having myself originally written most of the Wikipedia article on Tasso (which isn't really that extensive anyways), I feel justified paraphrasing it here:

Tasso ham is a specialty of Cajun cuisine. It is not a true ham, since it is made from the front shoulder, rather than the rear leg, of a pig. The front shoulder is a fatty and well-exercised (thus very flavorful but also somewhat tough) cut of meat. To prepare Tasso, the shoulder is boned out and sliced across the grain into fairly thick (1-3"/2.5-7.5cm) sections. The pieces are dredged in a salt, sugar, and nitrite mixture, then left to cure for a very short time (as little as a few hours). A spice mixture containing Cayenne pepper, garlic, and perhaps other spices or herbs is applied, and the meat is hot-smoked until cooked through.

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