The Ultimate Guide to Making Perfect Haitian Griot (No Mistakes Allowed!)
Haitian griot is a traditional dish made from pork that is slow-cooked until it is fall-apart tender. It is a popular dish in Haiti and is often served with Pikliz, crispy fried plantains, and the national rice and beans dish. While Haitian griot is not difficult to make, there are a few common mistakes that people make when making it.
Haitian Griot is not to be confused with the word Griot, described in the Oxford dictionary as “a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa.” This type of Griot is a national dish of Haiti, seasoned pork bits fried.
4 Mistakes You’re making when making Haitian Griot
Haitian griot is a delicious and popular dish made with pork that has been marinated in a blend of spices, cooked until soft, and then fried until crispy.
While griot is a relatively easy dish to make, people make a few common mistakes that can ruin the final product. Here are four mistakes to avoid when making Haitian griot:
- Mistake 1: Not using the right type of pork
The best type of pork to use for Haitian griot is pork shoulder. Pork shoulder is a tough cut of meat that is well-suited for slow cooking. It will become tender and flavorful when cooked slowly over low heat. This cut of meat is well-marbled with fat, which will help to keep the griot moist and flavorful. Avoid using leaner cuts of pork, such as pork tenderloin, as they will dry out during cooking.
- Mistake 2: Not marinating the pork long enough
The pork should be marinated for at least 4 hours before cooking, but overnight is even better, but you can cut down the marination time to at least 1 hour. This will allow the flavors of the marinade to penetrate the meat. The marinade is what gives Griot its flavor. This will allow the marinade flavors to penetrate the pork and create a flavorful and tender dish.
- Mistake 3: Not cooking the pork long enough
The pork should be cooked until it is tender and not fall-apart tender. The cooking time usually takes about 30 – 45 on low to medium heat, depending on the size of the pieces of pork. The meat is then fried or roasted in the oven. Whatever option you choose, the griot must be crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. This will prevent the griot from being dry and tough.
Can you air fry griot? No, you cannot because you have to boil it first. So the cooking process is longer. Placing the cooked meat in the air fryer defeats the purpose of having a crispy griot dish. It is best to either fry it or roast it in the oven.
Can you grill Griot? Absolutely! Marinate for at least 4 hours; cook the meat in a pot with its marinade for about 20 – 25 minutes. Remove it from the cooking liquid. Brush the pieces with oil or use an oil spray, and place them on the barbecue grill. Cook the meat until cooked through. Pork is usually done at 145°F. Serve it with your favorite side dishes.
- Mistake 4: Not serving the griot with the right sides
Haitian griot is typically served with Pikliz, fried plantains, rice and beans. It can also be served with salads, Rice with Djon Djon, macaroni au gratin, and salad russe or other vegetables.
Other options may include pasta salad, grains dishes, fancy salads, and stews.
- Griot is also part of Fritaille, another popular Haitian dish.
- When marinating the pork, be sure to use a flavorful marinade, meaning a good Haitian Epis blend. Some popular ingredients for Haitian griot marinades include garlic, onion, thyme, parsley, and cloves.
- If you don’t have time to marinate the pork for 24 hours, you can marinate it for at least 4 hours.
- Do not use a meat tenderizer to pound the pork before marinating it. This won’t help! The meat will fall apart during cooking.
- To tenderize the pork and add a touch of acidity, add sour orange juice, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar to the marinade.
- Serve the griot immediately after cooking. This will help to keep it crispy and flavorful.
- To reheat the meat, use the stovetop, oven, or microwave. Make sure to cover the meat when reheating.
- Use a good pot for cooking the pork shoulder; a Dutch oven pot is best.
- Let the pork cook first in the marinade and add hot or room temperature water if necessary.
- Do not fill up the pot with water during cooking.
- What do you do with the cooking liquid? Use it to cook bean purees, soup, and stews.
- Be creative with your own recipe version!
Haitian griot is a delicious and popular dish that is perfect for a special occasion. By following the tips in this guide, you can make sure that your griot is perfect every time.
Here are a few key things to remember when making Haitian griot:
- Use the right cut of pork. Pork shoulder is the best cut for griot because it is fatty and will become tender and flavorful when cooked slowly.
- Marinate the pork for at least 24 hours. This will help to develop the flavor of the griot.
- Cook the griot slowly over low heat. This will allow the pork to become tender and flavorful.
- Serve the griot with rice, plantains, and pikliz. These sides help balance the griot’s richness and make for a complete and satisfying meal.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can make delicious Haitian griot that will rival anything you can find in a restaurant.