Apple wood smoked venison tasso ham infused gumbo


Well-Known Member
I fell in love with a lot of things while living & traveling in the South. Gumbo was one of them. Well, needless to say when I moved back home to SW Pennsylvania, proper gumbo was nowhere to be found. So I learned to make my own.

Tasso ham is traditionally made from pork. However, I have found that venison makes an outstanding ham when treated properly. For this dish, I started with four venison loins and a basic dry cure of salt, sugar & pink salt.


Rub the cure on the loins and into the fridge for at least 4 hours. Overnight if you have the time.


Rinse the cure off with cold water. Pat dry the loins. Make a spice rub with 3 tablespoons each of marjoram, ground allspice & white pepper. Add 1-1/2 tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper. Coat the loins evenly with the rub.


Pre-heat your smoker or smoke house to 200 degrees. Add loins & apple wood and hot-smoke until the internal temp reaches 150 degrees.


The inside of the venison tasso will look like a pink ham.


Use your favorite gumbo recipe. Mine starts with a stick of butter. Saute chopped onion, pepper & some garlic. Add flour to make a roux. Stir in beef broth/stock slowly. Add a can of whole or diced tomatoes, do not drain. Finish up with some tomato paste and hot sauce.


Bring to a boil then simmer. Add the chopped, bite size pieces of the venison tasso ham. I also like to add shrimp & okra. (You'll only need 1-2 loins depending on how much gumbo you make and how much shrimp you add. Extras keep very well in the freezer and make an amazing addition to just about any of your other recipes that call for ham)


Serve next to white rice in a bowl and enjoy. Have fun with your gumbo, you can add just about any type of meat you like. Traditional gumbos were made with whatever protein they had on hand. Gumbo without tasso can be quite good but trust me, you'll want to take the time to make the tasso. It will take the gumbo to a whole other level.
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Weasel...that looks off the charts good! I will be adding this to my playbook for this winter. Thx for sharing!
I am excited to give your gumbo a try. I am a gumbo freak. Instead of making chili in the fall I make a lot of gumbo. One of my kids favorites growing up was a squirrel and sausage gumbo. It was one of those times the kids were asking for gumbo and all I had to throw in it was a couple of fresh killed squirrels and some andouille sausage I also will add a few vegetables in there at times, peas and corn etc and turn it into more of a stew. That ham looks great, I can't wait to give it a try.