August 2012: Haiti

Quick Facts

Official Language(s): French, Haitian Creole
Some Other Languages Spoken: Haitian Vodoun Culture Language (also known as Langaj or Langay)
Ethnic Groups: Black 95%, Mulatto and White 5%

Food Facts:  Haitian cuisine is influenced by French, African, and Spanish cuisines. Vegetable and meat stews are popular and dishes are seasoned generously with peppers and herbs, creating moderately spicy flavors.

Recipe: Griots
Griots is one of Haiti’s most popular dishes and is often served for special occasions and parties.  Chunks of pork are soaked in a marinade of sour orange juice, garlic, onion, scotch bonnet peppers, and herbs for several hours.  The pork is slow cooked and then fried resulting in tender pieces of pork with a crisp outside and a tangy sauce.  Griots is often served with traditional rice and beans and plantains.
Serves 6.


Approximately 1kg of boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-3cm cubes
1/2 cup fresh sour orange juice or lime juice

1 cup fresh sour orange juice or lime juice
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup shallots
1 onion
3 tbls fresh chives
1/2 to 1 tablespoon of scotch bonnet chilli or any other extremely hot chilli
1/2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
5 whole allspice berries
1 tbls salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Prepare the meat by tossing the pork thoroughly with the 1/2 cup of juice in a large bowl, then drain with a colander.

Next prepare the marinade by roughly chopping the garlic, shallots, onion, chives and chilli. Put these into a blender, along with the salt, thyme and black pepper, and chop. Combine these with the remaining ingredients (allspice berries and 1 cup of juice) in a non-reactive bowl (such as glass).

Add the pork and toss, covering it with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, overnight if possible. Turn occasionally.

Transfer the pork and marinade to a large, heavy, non-reactive casserole dish. Add just enough water to cover the pork. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer the pork, uncovered, until very tender for about one hour. Add small amounts of water as necessary to keep the pork from burning.

Drain the excess liquid off the pork, keeping back as much of the solids from the marinade mixture as possible. Wash out the casserole dish (You can make ahead the dish to this point).

Just before serving, heat the oil in the casserole. Fry the pork and remaining marinade mixture over a medium-high heat, stirring well, until the meat is golden brown and crusty on all sides. This should take about five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to paper towels to drain. Serve at once.


Share this story!