We’re going to Haiti this month. Can you say “pork griot” (gree-oh)? It is one of the most popular dishes you will find there. Chunks of pork are marinated, then simmered until tender and succulent, then fried until caramelized and crispy. You’ll always find it accompanied by “pikliz” (pik-lees), a spicy, vinegared cabbage and carrot relish. The spicy relish makes the perfect complement to the rich and fatty pork.
Now, I know, many Haitians might tell you that it’s not “griot” if it’s not fried. After all, griot means “fried bits.” But in this recipe I’ve adapted for you, we will explore alternate methods of cooking, as frying is not always convenient when we’re making food for a potluck. You can bake the meat, or bake then broil it to finish.
Accompany your meal with a typical side dish of rice and beans. My quick and dirty method is to simply stir a can of rinsed and drained beans into a pot of cooked rice. And to finish your meal, a platter of fresh sliced pineapple for dessert sounds very refreshing.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments on this month’s recipes. I love to hear from you! Linda McElroy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Griot (Fried Pork) (Tested)
Griot (gree-oh) translates as fried pork. Chunks of pork are marinated, then simmered until tender and succulent, then fried until caramelized and crispy. It uses one of the common cooking techniques that you’ll find throughout the island; that is, browning the meat after you’ve cooked it instead of before you’ve cooked it.
In this instance, though, I have recommended other ways to achieve this deliciousness without the frying, if you’d rather not mess up your kitchen. This should be accompanied with Pikliz (see other recipe this month) and rice and beans.
2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 ½ “cubes
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
1 small onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
Several sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. adobo powder
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 habañero or scotch bonnet chile, seeded and minced
Combine all the ingredients and marinate overnight, a Ziploc bag works well for this.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the meat and all the marinade juices into a pot and add 1 cup of water, cover, and bake for one and a half hours, or until meat is very tender when pierced with a fork.
To finish the pork:
Method One, Frying (most authentic): Scoop the pork out of the juices in the pan (save the juices to pour over the pork). Add the pork cubes in batches to a hot frying pan with a generous amount of oil in it and fry the cubes until they are browned and slightly crispy. Remove to a serving platter and pour the saved juices over the meat.
Method Two, Broiling: Remove the pork from the juices in the pan (save them) and place on a sheet pan. Place sheet pan under a broiler and broil for a few minutes, turn cubes, and broil for a few minutes more. Remove the meat to a serving platter and pour saved juices over.
Method Three, Easiest: Brown the meat first, after you’ve removed it from the marinade, then place in pot and bake in the oven as directed.
Serve with Pikliz, and rice and beans.
Recipe credit: Linda McElroy
Photo credit: Emily, Haitian Griot on Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical 2.0 Generic