Tasso ham is not really ham, in the common sense of the word, as it is usually made with pork shoulder, aka Boston butt. Going back in time, this Louisiana seasoning product was made from any trimming leftover from a hog killing. The only constant is the combination of spices and smoke, that make this a red beans and rice all star.
Sliced Pork Shoulder Strips
Salt and Pepper
This constitutes the dry rub, and the amount of each spice depends on the quantity of pork strips. At this point the pork strips need to dry uncovered in the refriginator a minimum of three days. Then it’s time to crank up the smoke house.
This old school smokehouse, right down to the hanging strip of fly paper, is now fully operational. The external smoke source is an old steel wood stove connected via a stove pipe. This Tasso was smoked for two and a half hours with green Maple at about 150 degrees F. The char patterns on the Tasso in the photo are from the smoke, not heat. The big piece of pork shoulder in the pic was destined to be barbecue.
After the Tasso has cooled, cut it into cubes and chunk it into a freezer bag. Like the frugal ant in the ant and grasshopper fable, we will have smokey dishes all winter, while the grasshoppers have to dine on McRib mystery meat barbecue sandwiches.