Grand Rue resident Alphonse Kettie steps us through the process of making Tasso Bef, deep-fried seasoned cubes of beef that are a quintessentially Haitian streetfood snack.
Ingredients for Alphonse Kettie’s Tasso Bef
Sour Orange Juice (also known as bitter or Seville orange)
Maggi® Seasoning Cubes
For all you ladies who don’t know how to make food, here’s a little recipe, okay? You ’re going to take the beef, and wash it really well, you need to take off all the veil that is shrouding the meat. Once it is is good and clean you’re going to wash it with sour orange juice, well seasoned. You’re going to put pepper, a little Maggi, some scallion, You’re going to pound that, and add acid in the form of the sour orange juice, add that to it. Then you put it on to boil, we have to make sure the beef isn’t exposed to the air, you put it on to boil, and then check it, once you are certain is it cooked, take it off.
Then you put oil on to heat. It has to be really hot, the oil can’t be cold, ladies! When the oil is good and hot, you fry your beef. When it’s fried nice and dry, you’re going to put it on the plate, add a little bit of onions, some tomato, whatever you want to accompany it with. And now it has become a dish!
So to make tasso, really, you have to cook the meat two times?
That’s right, first you boil it, and then you fry it.
I’ve had tasso that is good, and then I’ve had tasso that is really good. What is it that really gives it flavor?
It has to be properly seasoned, it needs to salted right, it needs the right balance of acid, and it needs the hot pepper to be just right. If one of those isn’t right…. It shouldn’t be too salty, either. Okay, ladies? Each thing is supposed to be measured out properly!