Tasso ham is a spiced, smoked, and cured ham that’s hand-crafted from pork shoulder and it is a Louisiana delicacy.
This salty meat with a smoky flavor is added to many famous Louisiana dishes to spice them up and give them a little saltiness.
Sadly, if you’re not from this ”melting pot of cultures” state, chances are you won’t be able to find it very easily, and even if you do, I imagine that it would come with a pretty hefty price.
To make your life a bit easier, we took it upon ourselves to find the perfect substitutes for Tasso ham.
You can substitute your Tasso ham with these alternatives
- Smoked ham
- Spicy chorizo
- Canadian bacon
- Andouille sausage
- Mexican chorizo
- Portuguese courico
Keep on reading this article to find out more about these delicious meats.
Tasso Ham Alternatives
Smoked ham is made from the pork leg(the hind leg) and is then cured with salt and spices that give it a smoky flavor.
It is then cooked slowly, with a kiln(a burning oven to give the ham that smokiness). Smoked ham is an excellent alternative that can be found in many well-stocked supermarkets.
Even though is not as spicy as tasso, you can improvise and add some spices to it yourself. Some onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper can help bring out that deep flavor to your smoked ham. If you’re a bit of a daredevil, you can even massage the ham with some sweet maple syrup or brown sugar.
German smoked ham is also a good substitute. It is a combination of sweet, smoky, and intense flavors that resemble the taste of tasso ham. Another more complicated option is to smoke your own ham if you have the time for that as well as the nerves. You can either smoke a raw ham or a pre-cooked one.
Chorizo is a type of Spanish pork sausage, and it is usually described as a fermented, cured, and smoked sausage with a spicy taste. It is also sold fresh (or uncooked) but In that case, you have to cook it before using it in a recipe.
The largely chopped pork and pork fat are seasoned with pimentón (a mix of smoked paprika and other spices that add flavor) and salt.
Portuguese chorizo contains pork, fat, wine, white pepper, paprika, garlic, and salt. The dried smoked red pimentón spice blend gives chorizo a maroon color and such a nice smokiness.
The spicy taste depends upon the type of pepper used. Mexican chorizo is made with chili peppers and is usually sold fresh.
So, it is better to use the Spanish version as a tasso ham substitute just because of its spicy taste and smokiness. You can use the other versions as well that would work but not as well.
Despite the name bacon(that angers so many people apparently), this ”bacon” mainly resembles ham in texture and flavor. It’s made by curing and smoking pork loin.
This is by far the healthiest substitute for tasso ham(or bacon), and those who are into dieting may find Canadian bacon as the best cooking substitute for tasso ham.
Canadian bacon is made from a lean piece of meat. Usually, it is packaged pre-cooked and pre-sliced. It has a smoky flavor, but it is not as spicy as tasso ham.
If you want to enhance the flavor, you may have to saute the bacon along with some onion, pepper, and garlic, before adding them to any recipe.
Other Lesser Known Substitutes For Tasso Ham
Andouillette is made out of pork (or veal), chitterlings, pepper, wine, onions, green pepper, cayenne pepper, and other seasonings. This coarse-grained sausage comes with a strong distinctive smell which may not be pleasing to people who are easily grossed out by strong smells.
You can replace tasso ham with spicy and smoky sausage. You can use any quality smoked ham, no matter what sort(but I would still recommend using a ham that’s made from pork). Just adjust the seasonings in your recipes to match the smoky flavors.
As you know, tasso ham is made with Cajun spices and herbs like cayenne, thyme, garlic, filé powder, and salt.
If you are fortunate to have Cajun spices in your kitchen, you can prepare tasso ham at home, because only tasso can make your gumbo recipe taste authentic and delicious.
A coarse-grained sausage made from pork and marinated with wine, peppers, onion, and Cajun seasonings, that’s the famous Andouille sausage. Andouille sausage has a smoky and rich flavor and it is often associated with the Louisiana Cuisine, just like tasso ham.
This product is smoked twice and is pretty spicy, that’s why it makes a good replacement for tasso ham. If you’re not a spicy food fanatic, this might not be the right choice for you since the spiciness can get quite intense.
Mexican chorizo is the World’s most flavorful sausage. It is made from ground pork or a combination of pork and beef. Mexican chorizo is used in many Mexican recipes to add an unbelievably strong taste and aroma.
Mexican chorizo is uncured and must be cooked before eating to get rid of any kinds of bacteria. It can be found in the bigger grocery stores, most likely in the store’s meat section. Mexican chorizo adds a peppery kick to any dish.
Portuguese courico is similar to Spanish chorizo, but it has a milder spicy flavor and more smokiness. You can eat it raw, or use it in recipes. I find it best to eat it raw, especially when you have various other sausages mixed on a charcuterie plate.
Related Questions And Other FAQ’S
What Can I Use As A Substitute For Tasso Ham
Smoked ham, spicy chorizo, Canadian bacon, andouillette, andouille sausage, Mexican chorizo, Portuguese courico are all good substitutes for when you don’t have tasso ham.
What Kind Of Meat Is Tasso Ham
Tasso ham is a smoked, spiced, and cured meat that is a specialty of Louisiana cuisine and it is very hard to find if you’re not from that area.
Unlike other types of ham that are made from the pork’s hind legs, this ham is actually made from the shoulder area.
Can You Freese Tasso Ham
Yes. Make sure you put the ham in an airtight container or a freezer bag before putting it in the freezer.
Does Ham Have To Be Pork
”Real ham” is traditionally made from pork but there are other variations that are made from chicken, turkey, etc…
What Is The Saltiest Type Of Ham
Country ham is by far the saltiest ham, and it’s made in the United States.