Tasso is an essential seasoning ingredient in many Cajun dishes, but can only be found in Cajun areas. While it can be ordered and shipped, it is expensive. This recipe makes plenty of genuine smoked tasso, which can be frozen for a very long time so that you always have it. It is also very inexpensive. This recipe was adapted from Alex Patout's Cajun Home Cooking, a book I highly recommend for anyone who is serious about cooking authentic Cajun.
10 pounds boneless pork butt, or shoulder
5 tablespoons salt
5 tablespoons cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons ground white pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
Trim the pork of all excess fat and cut it into strips about 1 inch thick and at least 4 inches long. Mix together the seasonings and place in a shallow pan. Roll each strip of pork in the seasoning mixture and place on a tray. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for several hours (if you have time, let it sit for a day or two). Prepare a smoker. Place the strips on a grill or rod and smoke until done, 5-7 hours. Don't let the smoker get too hot. Remove the meat and let cool completely, then wrap well in foil and plastic. The tasso will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 10 days; it also freezes well.