Haitian Griot and Pikliz

Introduction: Haitian Griot and Pikliz

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Griot and Pikliz, what is it? It is a classic Haitian dish of two parts. The "Griot", pork is cubed into large bite size pieces and marinated in citrus, a variety of spices, onions, garlic and some heat from habanero or scotch bonnet peppers. After its spicy bath, it visits a hot tub to be slow cooked for hours until near falling apart. But the fun doesn't stop there, oh no. The pork is gently pulled from the slow cooker, dried off and plunged into a pot of boiling oil where it develops a crispy shattering outer layer. Like biscotti, its cooked twice! Its spicy, crispy and tender all at the same time. It is paired with what has been described as Haitian Kimchee, I liken to calling it, voodoo kimchi. Its hot, cold, tangy, spicy, crispy, soft; it plays with your head a little and tastes perfect with the pork. Both dishes may have long ingredient lists, but really they are quite simple to prepare. You just have to plan a little. The Pikliz takes up to 3 days to develop its lovely fire and flavour. The pork should be marinated the day before and then it still has to be slow cooked. Traditionally it is made with cubed pork shoulder, but I prefer it made with pork tenderloin (not pork loin). The flavour is on par as the shoulder but with out the grissly chewy bits and chunks of fat. You still slow-cook the tenderloin as it drives in the flavour. Serve this by itself or especially nice with some Haitian rice and beans and your set. Fried plantains would really round out the meal, but at that point your just showing off. The Griot and Pikliz left overs make for out of this world Po' Boy sandwiches, so much so, you might just make it for that!

And yes, typically Pikliz isn't made with purple cabbage, I add a little for color and fun.

Step 1: Ingredients

Pikliz

  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • A couple leaves of thinly sliced purple cabbage - Optional, most never add it!
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 habanero's thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of julienned carrots
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced with 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of lime
  • White vinegar to top up the containers - about 2-3 cups

Griot

  • 1 kg or about 2 lbs of pork tenderloin cubed into large bites, about 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced with 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • The juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 2 habanero's, sliced
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • Oil for deep frying

Step 2: 4 Days Before You Want to Eat... PIKLIZ!

So, 3-4 days before you want to eat your Griot, start the Pikliz. Its so simple.

Combine the following in a large bowl.

  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • A couple leaves of thinly sliced purple cabbage - Optional, most never add it!
    1 red bell pepper
  • 2 habanero's thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of julienned carrots
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced with 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of lime

You should have just enough to stuff into 2 clean large mason jars. Pack tightly and top up with vinegar. Put a lid on it and toss in the fridge until "Griot" day. So easy!

Step 3: 1 Day Before You Want to Eat - Marinade the Meat

The griot meat is simple to prep as well.

Simply combine the following and stuff into a large Ziploc bag or bowl. Park it in the fridge over night!

  • 1 kg or about 2 lbs of pork tenderloin cubed into large bites, about 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced with 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • The juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 2 habanero's, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar

Step 4: 1 Day Later - Slow Cook

Place the pork and contents of marinade in your slow cooker along with 1 cup of water for 4 hours...

Thats it, next step

Step 5: Prepare the Pork for Frying

Let the meat cool for an hour and the gently remove it from the stock.

Gently brush off the "non-meat" bits. and place the cubed meat in a bowl. If the meat is very wet still, dab it with some paper towel. This will reduce flare ups when you deep fry.

Step 6: Fast Cook - Crispifying

Heat your oil to 350 degrees and fry in small batches until deeply browned.

Drain well and toss with a pinch of sea salt.

Serve quickly!

Step 7: Nom NOm NOM

This meat is so tasty, crispy yet falling apart. Eat each bite with some of the pikliz, the acid helps to cut the richness of the dish. Cook some rice with beans with a little cocunut milk and you have the whole shebang of a meal. So good!

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