Haitian Griot and Pikliz Recipe | Wine Enthusiast
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This Deep-Fried Pork Dish Topped with Fiery Relish Is Quintessentially Haitian

This recipe includes two cornerstones of Haitian cuisine: the spice mix épis, and the cabbage relish pikliz. While it may seem unusual to fry the pork after braising it, the result is a blast of texture and flavor. To round out the plate, serve this with bannann peze (fried green plantains).

Griot with Pikliz (Haitian Fried Pork)

Pikliz Ingredients

  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 sprigs thyme (leaves only)
  • 6 Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, stemmed and quartered
  • 8 whole cloves
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • White or cider vinegar, as needed

Pork Ingredients

  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Vegetable oil as need for frying)


To make pikliz: Add cabbage, carrot, shallots and salt to a large bowl, and massage with your hands until the vegetables are wilted. Add peppers, thyme, cloves and lime juice and mix well with a spoon (so you don’t get habanero on your fingers). Pack into a large jar (or multiple smaller jars), add just enough vinegar to cover, and shake well before refrigerating for at least three days, and up to a month. Be sure the cabbage mixture stays just barely covered with vinegar.

To make épis (seasoning paste): add all ingredients (except pork) to a food processor and pulse until well blended but not quite a smooth purée—there should still be a little texture. Taste and add more salt, if needed; it should be quite salty but not unpleasantly so.

To make pork: Heat oven to 375°F. Mix pork with épis in a 13 x 9 inch glass baking pan. Cover tightly with foil and roast for at least 90 minutes, or until pork is very tender and can be pulled apart with two forks.

With tongs or a slotted spoon, remove pork cubes to a plate, removing all excess liquid and being careful they don’t fall apart. (Taste the leftover sauce in the pan: If it’s delicious on its own, serve as a sauce at the table; otherwise refrigerate it for up to four days to use as a seasoning for other dishes.)

Add oil to a saucepan at least two inches deep and heat to between 350° and 375°F. Add pork cubes in batches— be careful, as they will splatter a little—and cook until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot, with pikliz.

This article originally appeared in the May 2024 of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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