Haitian Griot Recipe

Griot is a delicious and popular Haitian dish that has won the hearts of many food enthusiasts worldwide. This flavorful masterpiece, deeply rooted in Haiti’s culture, truly represents the essence of Haitian cuisine. Prepared with tender pieces of pork marinated in a rich blend of spices, Haitian Griot offers a unique taste that leaves a lasting impression on your taste buds.

As you embark on the journey to creating this authentic Haitian recipe, you will get a glimpse of the beautiful culinary traditions that make Haitian food stand out among other Caribbean cuisines. The process of making Griot involves marinating the pork in a mix of zesty ingredients like citrus, garlic, and Scotch bonnet pepper, resulting in a captivating blend of flavors that can only be described as a taste of Haiti itself.

While the recipe might seem a bit daunting, rest assured it can be easily mastered. The key to preparing the perfect Haitian Griot is allowing the meat ample time to marinate. Once cooked, you will be rewarded with a delightful dish that truly captures the essence of Haiti and showcases the distinct characteristics of Haitian cuisine. Enjoy!

Understanding the Griot Recipe


Pork Preparation

To make a delicious Haitian Griot, begin by selecting the right cut of pork. Pork shoulder is the ideal choice, as it has the perfect balance of fat and lean meat to create a tender, flavorful dish. Trim any excess fat and cut the meat into 1-2 inch chunks. This size allows the pork to fully absorb the marinade and cook evenly.

Marination Process

Marinating is crucial for a great Griot. Combine your preferred seasonings, spices, and citrus juices to create a fragrant and flavorful marinade. Common ingredients include garlic, onion, bell pepper, scallions, thyme, Scotch bonnet pepper, and lime juice. Add the pork chunks to the marinade, making sure each piece is well-coated. Let the pork marinate in the refrigerator for at least four hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to fully infuse the meat.

Cooking Method

There are several ways to cook Griot, each resulting in a unique texture and flavor:

  • Braise: A traditional Haitian method involves braising the marinated pork in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with some water. Cook the meat over low heat, allowing it to simmer gently until tender, approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Deep Fry: For a crispier exterior, you can deep fry the pork pieces in a deep fryer or a deep frying pan filled with oil. Ensure the oil is heated to 350-375°F (175-190°C), and fry the meat in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Drain on paper towels.
  • Air Fryer: For a healthier alternative, use an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and cook the pork for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning the pieces halfway through cooking.
  • Skillet: If you don’t have a deep fryer or air fryer, you can also cook the Griot in a large skillet or frying pan using a small amount of oil. Sear the marinated pork pieces on medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until they are well-browned and cooked through.

No matter which method you choose, after cooking the Griot, serve it with traditional Haitian sides, such as rice and beans, plantains, or pikliz for a truly authentic experience.

Key Ingredients of Haitian Griot

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Main Ingredients

In Haitian Griot, the primary ingredient is pork. It’s important to choose a cut with adequate fat, as this will provide flavor and juiciness to the dish. Other key ingredients include plantains and a variety of vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers. These components form the core of Griot’s taste and texture.

Spices and Seasonings

The distinct flavor of Haitian Griot comes from the spices and seasonings used in its preparation. The main seasoning blend, epis, is a combination of ingredients such as garlic, onion, scallions, and shallots, as well as herbs like parsley and thyme. Other spices used in the marinade include cloves, black pepper, salt, and the crucial scotch bonnet pepper, which provides a touch of heat to the dish.

Additionally, the marinade also contains an important element of citrus. Traditionally, sour orange juice is used, but lime juice or a combination of orange and lime juice can also bring the desired acidity to the mixture. Vinegar, adobo, and chicken bouillon may also be incorporated for extra flavor and tanginess.


When serving Haitian Griot, it is usually accompanied by a few specific side dishes or accompaniments. Firstly, there’s pikliz, a pickled vegetable mixture typically made from cabbage, carrots, shallots, and scotch bonnet peppers, infused with spices and vinegar. This tangy Haitian condiment complements the richness of the fried pork and enhances its flavors.

Fried plantains are another popular side dish, providing a satisfying crunch and natural sweetness that balance the savory Griot. Finally, rice and beans (often prepared with black beans, green peppers, and spices) may also be served with Griot to make the meal complete and satisfying.

Remember to use fresh ingredients and season your Griot to your liking. Enjoy the depth of flavors that this classic Haitian dish offers and don’t be afraid to experiment with spice combinations to suit your taste buds.

Haitian Griot Nutritional Facts

When you prepare a delicious serving of Haitian Griot, you not only enjoy the authentic taste but also benefit from its nutritional value. Griot is a protein-rich dish since its primary ingredient is pork. A 3-ounce serving of Griot offers around 22 grams of protein, which is crucial for maintaining healthy muscles, skin, and hair.

Griot is also a great energy booster, providing a significant number of calories per serving. A 3-ounce portion contains approximately 260 calories. Considering that it’s a fried dish, the fat contributes to a higher caloric content, so you should manage your consumption to balance your daily caloric intake.

In terms of fiber, Griot alone does not provide a considerable amount. However, when served with popular Haitian sides like pikliz and rice, you can benefit from added fiber, which aids in digestion. For instance, a 1/2-cup serving of cooked rice offers around 1 gram of fiber.

Like any protein-rich food, Griot contains some sugar content. A 3-ounce serving contains about 0.6 grams of sugar, which is relatively low and safe for most diets. However, it’s essential to remember that sauces and marinades may increase the overall sugar content.

To summarize, Haitian Griot is a tasty, protein-rich dish with a decent caloric content, complemented by its traditional sides for added fiber. The sugar content remains generally low, making it a delicious choice for an occasional indulgence. Enjoy this flavorful staple of Haitian cuisine while benefiting from its nutritional value.

Cooking Tips and Time Management

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When it comes to making Haitian Griot, time management is crucial for a seamless cooking experience. Keep in mind these important guidelines regarding preparation time, cooking time, and total time.

Preparation Time

Preparation time for this dish is approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Prioritize the following steps in order to optimize your time:

  • Gather all your ingredients and cooking utensils beforehand.
  • Trim the excess fat from the pork and cut it into small cubes.
  • Marinate the pork for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight) to allow flavors to penetrate.

Cooking Time

The cooking process takes about 60 to 75 minutes. Follow these tips for the best cooking results:

  • Deep-fry the pork cubes until they are evenly brown and crispy. This should take around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Boil the pieces of fried pork in a pot with orange juice, spices, and some water for approximately 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Serve the griot with pikliz, a spicy coleslaw, which can be prepared while the pork is cooking to save time.

Total Time

From start to finish, plan for a total time of about 2 to 2.5 hours for the whole process, including marinating time. Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • It’s best to marinate the pork overnight; however, if you’re short on time, a minimum of 3 hours is recommended.
  • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Don’t rush the boiling step. Tenderly cooked pork is a key aspect of the Haitian Griot recipe.

Following these tips will help you achieve an authentic and delicious Haitian Griot that is sure to impress your dinner guests. Enjoy your cooking journey, and most importantly, savor the mouthwatering flavors of this Haitian staple.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main ingredients for Griot?

The main ingredients for Griot are cubed pork shoulder, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, scallions, and various spices such as thyme, rosemary, and black pepper. Marinading the pork with these ingredients infuses it with rich and tangy flavors.

How is Griot typically cooked?

To cook Griot, the marinated pork is first simmered in a pot along with its marinade until it becomes tender. Afterward, the pork is removed from the pot and either deep-fried or pan-fried to achieve a crispy and caramelized exterior.

What is the best way to prepare Griot with plantains?

Griot pairs well with fried plantains. Peel and cut ripe plantains into slices or wedges. Heat up oil in a deep skillet or frying pan, and once hot, carefully add the plantain slices. Cook them on medium heat until they turn golden brown on both sides. Drain them on paper towels before serving alongside Griot.

What makes Pikliz the ideal side for Griot?

Pikliz is a spicy cabbage slaw that complements Griot by balancing its rich and savory flavors with its tangy and spicy notes. Made from a mix of cabbage, grated carrots, onions, hot peppers, and vinegar, Pikliz adds texture and a punch of flavor to your meal.

How can I make Griot with beef?

To make Griot with beef, simply replace the pork shoulder with an equivalent amount of cubed beef, preferably a cut suitable for slow cooking, like chuck or brisket. Allow the beef to marinate in the same mixture as you would for pork, then cook using the same method as for traditional pork Griot.

Where can I find traditional Haitian recipes?

Traditional Haitian recipes can be found in various sources such as cookbooks, online recipe websites, food blogs, and even social media platforms. Additionally, you may explore traditional Haitian markets or attend cultural events where Haitian cuisine is featured to learn more about authentic recipes and ingredients.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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