Citizens, it is a sad but all too-believable truth that Haitian cuisine is barely known outside its native land, yet it combines African, French, Caribbean and other influences into a bold series of dishes that are both delicious and unique.
Pork Griot is perhaps the most famous Haitian recipe, including pork marinated with many herbs, spices and citrus, stewed and then fried.
Frequently served with Haitian-style pickled vegetables and a unique sauce, it is a wonderful recipe that deserves to be sampled.
Haitian cuisine consists of cooking traditions and practices from Haiti. It is a Creole cuisine, that originates from a blend of several culinary styles that populated the western portion of the island of Hispaniola, namely the French, African, indigenous Taíno, Spanish and Arabic influence.
Haitian cuisine, comparable to that of “criollo” (Spanish for creole) cooking and similar to the rest of the Latin Caribbean, but differs in several ways from its regional counterparts.
While the cuisine is unpretentious and simple, the flavors are of a bold and spicy nature that demonstrate a primary influence of African culinary aesthetic, paired with a very French sophistication with notable derivatives coming from native Taíno and Spanish techniques.
Though similar to other cooking styles in the region, it carries a uniqueness native only to the country and an appeal to many visitors to the island. Peppers and herbs are often used for a strengthening flavor. Dishes tend to be seasoned liberally and griot is no exception.
Levantine influences have made their way into the mainstream culture, due to an Arab migration over the years, establishing many businesses. Years of adaptation have led to these cuisines to merge into Haitian cuisine.
I hope you give this series of recipes for Pork Griot a go, Cutizens! For more information about Haitian cuisine, check this article out!
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- 1 small Scotch bonnet or habanero chile
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ bunch scallions/spring onions
- ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup fresh chopped Italian parsley, more for serving
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup combined juice from 1 orange, 1 lemon and ½ lime – this is a substitute for the sour orange juice that would normally be used
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted) or olive oil, more as needed
- 3 pounds pork shoulder, not too lean, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more thyme leaves for serving
- Melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Piklis, for serving
- Sauce Ti Malice
- ¼ cup finely sliced shallots
- ½ tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Marinade and fat from Griyot
- 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (1 cup)
- ½ medium green, red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (1 cup)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, seeded and very thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 12 black peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 6 allspice berries
- 1 ½ cups cane vinegar, cider vinegar or white vinegar
- Juice of ½ lime
- In a blender (or food processor), combine all except pork and thyme sprigs until well combined. This is your marinade.
- Cut pork shoulder into bite-size chunks making sure to retain some of the fat on them.
- In a large bowl, place pork chunks with marinade and, using a spoon (unless you’re wearing gloves to protect you from the scotch bonnet pepper), make sure all the meat is nicely coated.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours.
- The following day, in a large sauce pan, bring the meat, Thyme sprigs and marinade mixture to a boil and then simmer gently for about 40 minutes.
- Drain meat pieces but reserve marinade/liquid (you’ll need this for the sauce/sos ti malice – recipe below). Allow meat to cool.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or vegetable oil to medium, and shallow-fry the pork in batches until dark brown and crispy all over.
- Reserve cooking fat and drippings for sauce ti malice.
- To serve, drizzle meat with additional oil and top with sauce, parsley and thyme leaves. Serve on a bed of rice with Piklis on the side.
- Sauce Ti Malice:
- Put shallots, parsley, pepper and mustard in a sauceboat. Heat oil over medium setting in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Sauté marinade solids and juice/fat from Griyot for four minutes. Add boiling water, boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Strain sauce, pressing well on the residue to extract all flavor. Discard the residue.
- Reduce slightly over medium heat for 3 minutes or as needed to achieve desired reduction.
- Pour sauce immediately over spices and herbs in the sauceboat – serve at once.
- Combine cabbage, onion, carrot, bell pepper, scallions, chiles, garlic, salt, peppercorns, allspice and cloves in a large bowl. Toss well.
- Pack vegetables into a large (1 quart) jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour vinegar and lime juice over vegetables. Press down on vegetables if needed until they are completely submerged in liquid.
- Cover with lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days before opening. Stored covered in refrigerator, Piklis will last for at least 3 weeks, if not longer.
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