Smoked tasso 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

3.28.11 Meaty Monday: Brining, Rubbing, Smoking

For the current Charcutepalooza challenge, we've moved on from simple salt curing and brining to the added step of hot smoking. Given a choice of making tasso ham or Canadian bacon, I made both. Perhaps I should say "we," as without G's smoking prowess I would just have lots of incredibly well-seasoned but essentially raw pork on hand. Having come out the other side of this process, I have to tell you how incredibly rewarding it is. The meat is so delicious, and it was great fun to see it through the relatively few simple steps it took to create all this rich and complex flavor. If you held a gun to my head, I think I'd have to admit I prefer the tasso—it's made from pork shoulder (otherwise known as Boston butt, the same cut we use for our July 4th pulled pork), and slow-cooking melts its generous fat through every fiber. I can't wait to use it in some traditional recipes like gumbo or jambalaya. The Canadian bacon is also remarkably good, especially when you consider that every bit of fat has been removed. I added an extra rub to mine, just a simple mixture of brown sugar, cayenne and cumin, but I like the extra kick it gives the smoky pink meat.
Tagged — Weber grill