Haiti was propelled into public awareness with the disastrous earthquake earlier this year, but there is much more to the country than natural disasters. For example, Haiti was the first Latin American country to gain independence and also the first black-led republic in the world. Yes, we can!
But you don't come here for the politics, right? So... the food. Well, according to my trusty sources (Wikipedia et al) Haitian cuisine is stongly influenced by French, African and native Taíno culinary traditions and techniques. There is a strong emphasis on fresh meats and vegetables and the food is usually generously seasoned and spiced. The flavor base of Haitian cooking is épis, a sauce made from cooked peppers, garlic, and herbs.
Image credits (clockwise l to r): Wikipedia; Christophe Serdakowski; The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism;
Wait... did someone say garlic? And spices? Count me in!
There are so many delicious looking Haitian dishes that it was honestly difficult to choose just one. Hence my kamikaze three-blog-posts-in-24-hours-mission. Tassot was the star of the show at my mini Haitian feast - tender cubes of goat, marinated with citrus flavours and fried until crispy. They were accompanied by mushroom rice and a spicy sauce. One thing's for sure - this adds new meaning to the phrase: "Once you pop, you can't stop".
I am submitting this to Regional Recipes - Haiti, originally created by Darlene from Blazing Hot Wok and currently managed by Joanne from Eats Well With Others.
Tassot (Fried Goat)
Adapted from Island FlaveServes 4
Tassot is a popular Haitian meat dish, traditionally made with goat, however this can be substituted with beef. I chose to use lamb, as it is quite similar in flavour to goat. Tassot is usually served with Sauce Ti Malice (a spicy sauce), fried plantains and Diri Et Pois Coles (rice and beans) or Diri Jon Jon (mushroom rice).
700g lamb or goat chops, trimmed of fat and bones and cut into cubes2 small onions, finely chopped1/2 cup orange juice1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
sunflower oil for deep frying
1. Place meat in a non-metal bowl together with the onions, orange and lemon juice. Gently massage the juices and onions into the meat so that the maximum flavour can be absorbed, then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 4 - 8 hours.2. Transfer meat (with juices & onion) to a saucepan, cover with water and heat to boiling point. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until meat is cooked through and soft. Be careful not to cook over too high heat as this will make the meat tough.3. Heat oil in a frying pan until a cube of bread browns within seconds, then add meat and fry until crisp and browned on the outside. This will go very quickly - a few seconds and the meat will be done.
Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 517.2, Total fat 37.3g, Saturated fat 16.1 g, Polyunsaturated fat 3.0 g, Monounsaturated fat 15.3 g, Cholesterol 149.5 mg, Sodium 974.3 mg, Potassium 520.4 mg, Total carbohydrate 7.5 g, Dietary fiber 0.8 g, Sugars 3.1 g, Protein 36.2g
Good source of: Vitamin B12 58.0 %, Niacin 56.6 %, Selenium 55.7 %, Zinc 36.4 %, Vitamin C 32.5 %, Phosphorus 29.9%,