Haitian griot with pikliz

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Cubes of pork are gently simmered in a broth full of aromatics and citrus juices before being deep-fried in this iconic dish from Haiti. Served with pikliz – pickled shredded vegetables – on the side to cut through the richness of the meat, it's easy to see why it's become the island's national dish.

First published in 2020

Haiti was the first black republic to establish itself after it triumphed during the Haitian revolution in 1804. This nation created the blueprint for independence and sovereignty amongst the West Indies and many islands have followed since. Griot (or Griyo in Creole) pays homage to the ‘Griot’, a person of high standing such as a community leader, master of ceremony or tribal spokesperson across many West African cultures, namely Senegal and Burkina Faso as examples. West Africans formed the majority of the Haitian population in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and had a direct influence on food culture. Griot can be found all over Haiti as a street food snack and enjoyed as a dish cooked in many households simply served with pikliz; Haitian-style pickled coleslaw.







Begin by making the pikliz. Whisk the salt, sugar, water and vinegar together and set aside. Place the rest of the ingredients in a sterilised container, then pour over the pickling liquor and cover. Leave to pickle in the fridge for at least a few hours, but ideally overnight. The longer you leave the vegetables to pickle, the more mature the flavour – a few days is best
Place the pork in a bowl of water with the lemon juice, then add to a large saucepan with the rest of the ingredients for the griot (apart from the vegetable oil). Stir well to combine, then place over a medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes
Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork from the pot and drain the meat on kitchen paper, removing any pieces of onion or thyme that may have stuck to the meat
Heat a deep pan of oil or a deep-fat fryer to 180°C
In small batches, lower the cooked pork into the oil and deep-fry until crisp and golden. Serve with the pikliz on the side
First published in 2020

Keshia Sakarah is a second-generation West Indian and owner of Caribe', a Caribbean restaurant based at POP Brixton in London.

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