Eric Donnelly with finished Tasso ham and a bowl of rub.

Come next week you’ll no doubt be hearing about Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge. The France-meets-the-Big Easy bar/restaurant from Brian Hutmacher, owner of neighboring Peso’s Kitchen and Lounge, is due to open sometime then (check back here for the TBA date). If you can’t wait to get some of that southern-style grub, read on: Petit chef Eric Donnelly tells us how to heat up the home kitchen.

Tasso ham [smoked pork shoulder] is easy to make at home. You take pork shoulder and cut it into one-and-a-half inch slabs. Then you put tasso rub on it. We use our house Creole seasoning, which has curing salt, sugar, sassafras, and thyme. You have to put a good amount of rub on it and then dry it in the refrigerator for four days. Essentially you’re curing the meat. Then preheat the oven to 225 degrees and cook it nice and slow for a couple hours until the internal temperature hits 165 degrees.

Tasso ham is the ultimate flavor profile as we’re going into winter. You can use it to make dirty rice or green beans with Tasso ham [haricot verts with tasso and pearl onions on Toulouse’s menu]. On a cold day it’s one of those things that will change your day—not your life—but definitely your day.

Find out what Tom Douglas keeps in his culinary arsenal.

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