One of my favorite smoked pork products, Tasso has never been crowned an “it” meat by Emeril, despite its Cajun roots. No one audibly cheers or says “Bam” when you include it in cornbread, jambalaya, or gravy. However, whenever I have these dishes and they do not include tasso, I feel that something is missing. It is one of those things that, if you keep it handy, can make red beans and rice into something that you want to keep eating over and over again.
All that said, here’s a warning. Eat tasso by itself at your own peril. This is spicy business and there is enough cayenne to make you cry like a 30 year old guy after watching Kevin Costner play catch with his dad in Field of Dreams. I sweat just thinking about it. However, recently I have been pairing tasso with homemade pimento cheese to make for a spectacular Southern sandwich. Since it is pork shoulder, which means that the cut needs a long cooking time, I tend to cut it into small pieces first to allow for a shorter cooking time. Continue reading