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Famous Haitian Griot

Dachenie Ganthier, Contributing Writer

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Griot (pronounced “gree-oh”) is one of the famous dishes in the Haitian culture. It is served on special occasions or parties. Griot is fried pork shoulder, served with fried plantains and sometimes salad with some pikliz, a spicy coleslaw. Griot doesn’t particularly have to be pork; it could be any meat of your choice, since not everyone eats pork.

Haitian food is hard in general, especially for a beginner. But, with practice and courage, anyone can do anything—especially trying other cultures’ cooking. The steps of making this dish are simple: marinate, boil, and broil or fry. But, obviously I won’t leave you with just that, so here’s the recipe for this awesome dish. Good luck and enjoy, because I know you will!

 

Epis

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

Half of 1 bell pepper (green or red)

3 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of scallions

Few leaves of parsley

Black pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

Blend all ingredients until the mixture forms a paste.

 

Pikliz

Ingredients:

½ small head of cabbage

2 carrots

½ – 1 cup of white vinegar

2 hot peppers (I usually use habañero)

½ red and green bell pepper (optional)

 

Directions:

To make the pikliz, shred the cabbage and the carrots into small pieces. After shredding, cut the bell peppers into strips and cut the hot pepper into small pieces. After you cut everything, put it in a large bowl to mix.

Then, put the mixture in a jar and add the vinegar to marinate for a few days or a week. I usually do this the day before serving griot.

 

The Main Dish

Ingredients:

Pork shoulder, optional amount

Epis (see above)

Oil

Plantains, optional amount

Pikliz (see above)

2 cups water

1 scotch bonnet pepper (it’s very hot!)

1 tomato (optional)

1 small head of lettuce (optional)

1 onion (optional)

 

Directions:

First, wash and peel your plantains, and then cut each plantain into four thick pieces. Heat your pan on medium heat with enough oil to make a deep fry, and fry your plantains for 2-3 minutes.

Then, take them out and let them rest for 30 seconds before pressing them down. If you don’t have a plantain presser, use a round object to press until it becomes flat. Then, heat up the oil you used earlier to refry them until golden brown.

To make the main dish, griot, first you have to marinate the pork with the epis seasoning. After you clean, wash, and cut the shoulder pork cube, dump it into a large bowl and add your epis that you blended earlier.

Put a deep pot on high heat for 1-2 minutes, and then add the marinated pork into the pot. Then, add 2 cups of water and the scotch bonnet pepper whole. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Afterwards, take it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

For the next step, you can either fry it or broil it in the oven. To broil it in the oven, all you have to do is bake it for 20 minutes in a casserole dish at 400˚F to make it crispy.

Frying it is also simple. Put a deep pot on high heat and add enough oil for deep frying. Once the oil is heated, start adding the pork in the oil and let it fry for 15 minutes.

Then, it’s time to serve! We usually plate it by putting the griot on one side, adding the fried plantains next to it, and putting a small bowl of pikliz in the middle. It’s optional to put a salad on the other side, which is just made of chopped lettuce, tomato slices, and some onion.

 

This piece also appears in our March 2019 print edition.

About the Writer
Dachenie Ganthier, Contributing Writer

What elementary school did you go to?

 

What other activities are you involved in at CRLS and/or in the community?

 

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Famous Haitian Griot