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How to make Haitian Griot or Fried Pork Chunks

Haitian Griot - my version

Haitian Griot, those delectable fried pork chunks, are a staple in Haitian cuisine. It’s a dish that transcends generations and occasions, guaranteed to have people asking for more. But fear not, making Griot at home is easier than you think, and you can even ditch the deep fryer for a healthier option.

Griot vs. Griot: A Tale of Two Meanings

While “Griot” means “storyteller” in West African culture, in Haiti, it refers to those irresistible fried pork cubes. Traditionally, Griot involves marinating, boiling, and then frying the pork. However, roasting offers a healthier alternative with less mess and cleanup.

The Secret to Flavorful Griot

The key to mouthwatering Griot lies in the marinade. The magic potion involves a perfect balance of lime and sour orange juice. Here’s the thing about sour orange juice: it can be tricky to find fresh bitter oranges. But fret not! Most supermarkets stock bottled sour orange juice in the International/Caribbean/Spanish section. Opt for a trusted brand with a tart flavor – not semi-sweet. If you can’t find sour orange juice, lime juice is a good substitute, but use it sparingly to avoid overpowering the pork.

Haitian Griot - my version
Haitian Griot recipe – my version

Fresh vs. Pre-made Spices: The Choice is Yours

While pre-made spice mixes offer convenience, fresh spices deliver a more authentic taste. The right blend of spices combined with the perfect amount of acidity creates that finger-licking good Griot everyone craves.

My Secret Weapon: Noubess Hot and Spicy Herbs Sauce

For an extra layer of flavor, I like to add Noubess Hot and Spicy Herbs Sauce. It adds a delightful kick that keeps you coming back for more.

Taming the Beast: Pork Shoulder Prep

Griot is traditionally made with pork shoulder or picnic shoulder, usually sold whole. To avoid a wrestling match with a hunk of meat, befriend your butcher and ask them to cut it for you before you head home.

Safety First: Don’t Forget to Wash!

Always remember to wash your meat thoroughly before cooking to prevent cross-contamination.

The key ingredients in Haitian Griot can be broken down into three categories:

  • The Pork: The star of the show is 3 pounds of pork shoulder or picnic shoulder, cut into bite-sized cubes (2-3 inches).
  • The Citrusy Marinade: This marinade infuses the pork with a tangy flavor and helps tenderize it.
    • Acidity:
      • 1/2 cup sour orange juice: This is the traditional citrus used, but it can be hard to find fresh. If needed, substitute an equal amount of lime juice.
      • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 2-3 limes): Adds another layer of citrus flavor.
    • Herbs and Spices:
      • 1 tablespoon kosher salt: Seasons the pork.
      • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley: Freshness and herbal notes.
      • 1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves: Earthy and aromatic flavor.
      • 2 scallions, chopped: Adds a mild oniony bite.
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper: A touch of warmth.
      • Optional Heat:
        • 1 scotch bonnet pepper: This fiery pepper brings serious heat. Use with caution!
        • 1 teaspoon Noubess Original Hot and Spicy Sauce: A delicious alternative to the scotch bonnet pepper, offering heat with a blend of other spices.
  • Cooking Fat (Optional):
    • Vegetable oil for frying: Used for the traditional fried method.

Here are some cooking tips for making Haitian Griot:

  • Marinating Magic: The longer you marinate the pork, the deeper the flavor will be. Aim for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is even better for maximum taste.
  • Taming the Beast: Scotch bonnet peppers are incredibly hot! If you’re not a spice aficionado, tread carefully. Here are your options:
    • Omit the pepper: Enjoy a milder Griot.
    • Use gloves: When handling the pepper, wear gloves to avoid burning your skin.
    • Noubess to the rescue: Substitute the scotch bonnet pepper with 1 teaspoon of Noubess Hot and Spicy Sauce. It adds a delightful kick without overwhelming heat.
  • Frying vs. Roasting: The traditional method is frying, but roasting offers a healthier alternative. Both methods achieve a delicious result:
    • Frying: Ensure the oil is hot enough to prevent the pork from becoming greasy. Aim for 350°F (175°C). Don’t overcrowd the pot; fry the pork in batches for even browning.
    • Roasting: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and arrange the pork cubes in a single layer to ensure even cooking and crispy edges.
  • Paper Towel Power: After cooking, whether fried or roasted, drain your Griot on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. This creates a crispier texture.
  • Serving Suggestions: Haitian Griot is traditionally served with Pikliz (spicy pickled slaw) or Sauce Ti Malice (a fiery pepper sauce). Feel free to experiment with your favorite dipping sauces, or add a drizzle of Noubess Hot and Spicy Sauce for an extra flavor dimension.

The Perfect Pairing: Griot’s Companions

Griot is traditionally served with Pikliz (a spicy pickled veggie slaw) or Sauce Ti Malice (a fiery pepper sauce). And of course, feel free to add a drizzle of Noubess Hot and Spicy Herbs Sauce for an extra flavor explosion.

So there you have it! Making Haitian Griot at home is achievable and oh-so rewarding. Give it a try and enjoy a taste of Haitian tradition, with or without the deep fryer!

Griot Dinner
Griot Dinner
Haitian Griot

Haitian Griot

This recipe for Haitian Griot features juicy pork shoulder or picnic shoulder seasoned with a vibrant blend of citrus and herbs. Traditionally fried, this Griot offers the option to be roasted for a healthier alternative
4.94 from 16 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Caribbean, Haitian Cuisine
Servings 4
Calories 319 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lb pork shoulder or Picnic Shoulder. Cut in 5cm – 8cm (2″ – 3″)
  • ½ cup sour orange juice
  • ½ cup lime juice fresh, about 2-3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • ½ tablespoon thyme leaves only
  • 2 stalks scallions chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tsp Noubess Original Hot and Spicy Sauce
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper optional, if not using Noubess hot sauce

Instructions
 

  • Prep the Pork: Squeeze the juice from the limes and set it aside. Rub the lime halves on the pork cubes to clean them, then rinse with cold water and set aside.
  • Craft the Marinade: In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except the oil and scotch bonnet pepper (if not using Noubess Hot Sauce). Add the scotch bonnet pepper if you prefer a spicier Griot.
  • Marinate the Pork: Place the pork cubes in a bag or bowl with the marinade. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or longer for deeper flavor.
  • Cooking the Griot: Choose your cooking method:
  • Frying (Traditional): Heat vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Fry the pork cubes in batches until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Roasting (Healthier): Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the pork cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Enjoy your Haitian Griot hot with Pikliz (a spicy pickled veggie slaw), Sauce Ti Malice (a fiery pepper sauce), or a drizzle of Noubess Hot and Spicy Sauce for an extra kick!

Notes

  • Marinating Magic: The longer you marinate the pork, the deeper the flavor will be. Aim for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is even better for maximum taste.
  • Taming the Beast: Scotch bonnet peppers are incredibly hot! If you’re not a spice aficionado, tread carefully. Here are your options:
    • Omit the pepper: Enjoy a milder Griot.
    • Use gloves: When handling the pepper, wear gloves to avoid burning your skin.
    • Noubess to the rescue: Substitute the scotch bonnet pepper with 1 teaspoon of Noubess Hot and Spicy Sauce. It adds a delightful kick without overwhelming heat.
  • Frying vs. Roasting: The traditional method is frying, but roasting offers a healthier alternative. Both methods achieve a delicious result:
    • Frying: Ensure the oil is hot enough to prevent the pork from becoming greasy. Aim for 350°F (175°C). Don’t overcrowd the pot; fry the pork in batches for even browning.
    • Roasting: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and arrange the pork cubes in a single layer to ensure even cooking and crispy edges.
  • Paper Towel Power: After cooking, whether fried or roasted, drain your Griot on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. This creates a crispier texture.
  • Serving Suggestions: Haitian Griot is traditionally served with Pikliz (spicy pickled slaw) or Sauce Ti Malice (a fiery pepper sauce). Feel free to experiment with your favorite dipping sauces, or add a drizzle of Noubess Hot and Spicy Sauce for an extra flavor dimension.

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 41gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1904mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword Caribbean Cooking, Caribbean Recipes, Haitian Recipes, Pork
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Tried this recipe?Mention @noubesscaribbean or tag #noubesscaribbean!

Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

Originally published on June 12, 2014. Updated on December 20, 2023. Republished and updated.

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5 Comments

  1. 40 years ago as a new nurse my colleagues introduced me to this dish.
    I have only had it made by my Haitian nursing sisters
    I followed the recipe and my family who is southern loved loved it so flavorerful so tender !
    It came out wonderful I made plantains black rice and salad as sides
    Will make it at my next family reunion to introduce this scrumptous dish of love to others

    1. Oh wow! Thanks, Beatrice. I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying our national dishes. Your dishes will be such a huge hit at the family reunion. Enjoy and thanks so much again.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was delicious. I have been using since. I have been looking for a good recipe and glad I found this one.

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