This Haitian style salt-cured pork and shrimp paella is packed with amazing flavors and enhanced with our famous local mushroom, djdondjon. A must try. | tchakayiti.com

Haitian-style salt-cured pork and shrimp paella with djondjon

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On the menu today, my Haitian-style salt-cured pork and shrimp paella.

Did that flavor combination just make you grimace? If it did, do tell me. Don’t be shy. I won’t hold it against you. If anything, I will tell you that I totally relate.  Believe it or not, I understand your apprehensions. I even share them. I had the same ones as I set out to prepare my salt-cured pork and shrimp paella.

Truth be told, I wasn’t convinced that those flavors would work well together.

But I still wanted to mix them. Salt-cured meat is a Haitian staple. Through the years, I developed a taste for it as you can probably tell from my Tchaka and salt-cured meat articles. As for the shrimp, I think it speaks for itself. Not only does the shell make for a delicious broth, but the crustacean itself is also bold in flavors. Add some djondjon to the mix, and you should be on your way to a delightful dish. My meat and shrimp had to work well together. At least that’s what I told myself as I embarked on that adventure.

As I was standing in front of that paella pan, with my mother looking over my shoulders, I couldn’t help but wish that I could be cooking in a secret kitchen by myself. I wanted to make a single batch just to test out the flavors. A batch only I would be tasting to make sure it wasn’t a complete fail. Yet, I had promised my family a paella for dinner. I couldn’t back down. I had to serve it at all costs.

This Haitian style salt-cured pork and shrimp paella is packed with amazing flavors and enhanced with our famous local mushroom, djdondjon. A must try. | tchakayiti.com

Today, as I share my fears about that dish with you, I can’t help but smile. I’m even laughing at myself right now. I’m not even sure what I was so worried about. After all, surf and turf truly is a thing. All right, I know, it is typically a combination of steak and seafood. But still. Why wouldn’t it work with a different type of meat? Plus, my paella was not a completely new idea.

A pork and shrimp paella is a dish people prepare.

Do a quick online search and you will see. You will realize that my flavor combinations were not so crazy. Perhaps the salt-cured meat and djondjon were new. But still. Had I dug more information prior to entering that kitchen, I would have saved myself a whole lot of stress that day.

So to you, the one who is also unsure I did the right pairing, I will only say one thing. Think surf and turf. Imagine the flavors of salt-cured meat and grilled shrimp separately. Then combine them in your mind. And try my salt-cured pork and shrimp paella recipe below. I promise, you will be on your way to quite the perfect tasty adventure.

Haitian-style salt-cured pork and shrimp paella with djondjon

I recommend preparing the broth a few hours before to allow the flavors to fully develop. Please note that this recipe does not call for salt. The salt-cured meat has enough salt in itself to salt the entire dish.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

For the shrimp djondjon broth

  • Shrimp shells
  • 3 cups of water
  • Djondjon
  • Bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic heads
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 piment bouc

For the pork

  • 1 lb salt-cured pork meat
  • Whole peppercorn
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 piment bouc
  • Water

For the shrimp

  • 1 lb of shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 mashed garlic heads
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp chili
  • ¼ tsp paprika

For the paella

  • 1 cup of white rice
  • ¼ cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of prepared djondjon broth
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 can of green peas
  • ½ diced onion
  • ½ diced bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lime slices

Instructions

For the broth

  1. Bring all the ingredients to a boil
  2. Simmer for about 20 minutes
  3. Cover and let rest until ready to use
  4. Strain the liquid by making sure to extract all the juice from the shrimp shells
  5. Measure two (2) cups of the bouillon and set aside. You will use them to cook the rice

For the pork

  1. Put the meat in a pressure cooker
  2. Cover with water
  3. Add the peppercorn, thyme and piment bouc
  4. Cook for about 30 minutes until tender
  5. Drain and preserve the cooking water

For the shrimp

  1. Season them and set them aside until your rice is halfway done
  2. Grill half of the shrimp on a cast iron grill
  3. Set aside

For the paella

  1. In a pan, add a tablespoon of oil
  2. Brown the cooked meat on all sides and remove from the pan
  3. Incorporate the onion and garlic
  4. When the onions turn translucent add the rice
  5. Cook until fragrant and translucent
  6. Add that point deglaze with the wine
  7. When the wine is absorbed add two cups of the djondjon broth
  8. Stir well
  9. Once the water is halfway absorbed add the pork meat and the remaining uncooked shrimp
  10. Cover the rice and reduce the heat
  11. Once the rice is fully cooked mix it well
  12. Add the chopped pepper, some fresh parsley, the peas and the diced tomato
  13. Garnish with lime slices and serve

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