Category Archives: Recipes

Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

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There is nothing quite as soul satisfying (or messy) than a good old Roast Beef Po’ Boy in New Orleans. The best way to judge a good one is by the number of napkins you used to keep your chin semi-dry (Seriously, make sure you are stocked up on napkins.) My favorite place in New Orleans for a Roast Beef Po’ Boy is Parasol’s in the Irish Channel.

Like all other Po’ Boys, the most important ingredient isn’t the filling (although that is important as well, don’t get me wrong), but the bread. New Orleans Po’ Boy Bread, or Long Bread is light in the center with a wonderful flaky crust. It is almost impossible to find outside of New Orleans, which is why I’m working on a recipe for it, the one in the photo is my 3rd draft, it turned out very, very good, it just needs to be tweaked.

For my Creole Roast Beef I use an inexpensive, well marbled Chuck Roast, which is from the shoulder. Very tough, but extremely flavorful. I’ve found that braising works best for this cut, nice and slow. I did 4 hours, the object is for the meat to just fall apart…not by breathing on it, that would still be too tough, but by just looking at it. About a 10 second stare should do the trick.

I’ve found that I like a mixture of Beef Stock, Chicken Stock, and water for my braising liquid. The reason I don’t use straight Beef Stock is that I make an extremely rich one, and I reduce my gravy instead of using a thickening agent. When all is said and done, the gravy was just too much of a good thing, too intense. This way comes out just right. Extremely Beefy and delicious!
Here is the recipe:

Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

For the Roast:
1 Beef Chuck Roast (this one was 2 ½ pounds)
2 Garlic Cloves thinly sliced
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
Cayenne
3 Tbsp Lard or Vegetable Oil
1 Small Onion, Diced
1 Small Carrot, Diced
1 Cup Beef Stock
1 Cup Chicken Stock
Water if necessary
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 Fresh Bay Leaf
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Cut small slits into the roast, about every 3 inches, try not to pierce all the way to the bottom. Stuff the sliced garlic into the slits.
Season the Roast very liberally on all sides with the Salt & Black Pepper, season with Cayenne to your taste, I don’t use much.
Heat the fat in a heavy bottomed Dutch Oven over high heat, when the oil starts to smoke, wait a few more seconds, then carefully add the Roast cut side down. Brown very well on all sides, without burning it. Remove to a plate.
Drain off all but 1 Tbsp of the fat in the pan, add the onions and carrots, cook until the onions just start to brown, place the roast back in the pan, then add the stocks. Finish, if necessary, with enough water to bring the cooking liquid 3/4 of the way up the roast. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then back down to a simmer. Simmer covered for 3-4 hours or until the meat falls apart by staring at it.

For the Debris Gravy:
Carve the meat into very thin slices, it will be hard to do and will fall apart, that is good. All of the bits and pieces, that fall off are your Debris (pronounced DAY-bree.) Add all of the bits and chunks to you cooking liquid after skimming off the fat from the surface, keep the carved meat with a little liquid on a warm plate, covered tightly with plastic wrap. Bring the gravy to a full boil and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Po’ Boy:
New Orleans Style French Bread (Po’ Boys are generally about 9-10 inches long per sandwich. As you can see I made mine a bit smaller, shame on me.) Cut the bread 3/4 of the way through leaving a hinge (as seen in the background of the pic.) I find the hinge makes for slightly, easier eating.
Shredded Lettuce (or Cabbage a la Mothers)
Mayonnaise
Roast Beef (see above)
Debris Gravy

Slather the bread with a very generous portion of Mayonnaise on the inside of the upper and lower halves. Place about a cup of Shredded Lettuce on the bottom half. Cover the lettuce with a generous portion of the “sliced” Beef. Drown the beef with Debris Gravy.

Grab a stack of napkins, a cold beer and enjoy!

**Note – To make this a Ferdi Special a la Mother’s, add Good quality sliced ham underneath the Beef!

This Roast will make about 4 very generous Po’ Boys.

Other New Orleans Sandwich Recipes:

Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe
Muffuletta Bread Recipe
Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

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Creole Turtle Soup Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

Turtle Soup is almost as synonymous with Nola Cuisine as Gumbo, in fact, it probably outsells the Gumbo in a lot of establishments. Unlike the clear Turtle Soups made in other parts of the world, the Louisiana variety is a dark, robust soup, bordering on a stew. There are also Mock Turtle Soups which are good as well, usually made with Beef and Veal. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that most restaurant versions are a combination of the two. Turtles are said to contain about 7 different flavors of meat, so it would be very easy to slip a more inexpensive meat in with the Turtle, I’ve even heard of some places slipping in some Alligator. I always raise an eyebrow when the “Turtle Meat” in some versions is ground, as opposed to cubed, it’s a red flag that says “Probably Not All Turtle Meat Here.” That’s fine though, they still taste delicious, and it would take a very refined palate to tell the difference.

As far as finding Turtle Meat in your area, you may have a bit of a challenge. If you have a great Asian Market in your area, it’s probably your best bet, they may even have them live if you would like to butcher them yourself. It’s a messy business though, with a lot of blood and Post Mortem squirming. No thanks, I buy frozen. If you do butcher your own you will have access to ingredients that squeamish cooks like myself can’t find in the freezer. Calipash and Calipee, and possibly Turtle eggs. Some connoisseurs have said that they can tell if a Turtle Soup is truly authentic by the lumps of Calipash and Calipee in the soup. Calipash is the dull-green fatty substance inside the upper shell (Carapace). Calipee is the light yellow fatty substance attached to the bottom shell (Plastron).
If you can purchase bone-in Turtle Meat, do so! You can Roast the bones and infuse the flavor into your Beef Stock. Roast them in a 400 degree F oven until a nice deep brown, then add them to your Beef Stock and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Here is my recipe:

Creole Turtle Soup Recipe

Roux:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

4 Tbsp Usalted Butter
1 lb Turtle Meat Cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Diced
1 Cup Celery, Finely Diced
1/4 Cup Green Onion, Finely Sliced
2 tsp Garlic, Minced
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 1/2 Cup Fresh Tomato, Diced
1 Qt Beef Stock
1 Pinch Cayenne
1 Pinch Ground Allspice
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 Tbsp Fresh Marjoram, Chopped
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp Sherry
3 Hard Boiled Eggs, Whites diced, Yolks Riced
Lemon Slices
5 tsp Italian Pasley, Finely Chopped

Melt the 1 Cup of Butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk in the flour, cook to make a peanut butter colored Roux. Set aside. For more on making a Roux, click here.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the 4 Tbsp of Unalted Butter over medium-high heat, add the diced Turtle Meat and saute until nicely browned.
Lower the heat to medium, add both types of onions, the celery, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Saute until the vegetables are tender.
Add the tomatoes, season with a little salt so they will break down, cook for 10 minutes.
Add the Beef Stock, Worcestershire, Cayenne, Allspice, and Bay Leaves. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any impurities that may rise to the surface.
Whisk in the Roux, simmer until thickened and smooth. Add the Thyme, and Marjoram, simmer for 15-20 minutes more.
Add the Lemon Juice, 3 tsp of the Parsley, and the riced Egg Yolk, heat through.
Serve garnished with Lemon Slices, Diced Egg Whites, and Parsley. Add the Sherry at the table, about 1-2 tsp per bowl.

Serves 4-6

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Pickle Meat or Pickled Pork Recipe

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I know this photo looks a bit like a science experiment, or as my Dad said in his best Marty Feldman voice, Abby Normal’s Brain. All joking aside, this science experiment will give your Red Beans & Rice impeccable, authentic flavor that will be hard to match.
Before the days of refrigeration and commercial curing plants, Pickle Meat or Pickled Pork was a staple in the Creole Kitchen. Some Creole cooks still will not make Red Beans and Rice without it, and I have to say, the best pot of Red Beans that I’ve made, was made with Pickle Meat (I can’t wait to make them this Monday with this new batch of Pickle Meat.) The meat is so tender from the brine, that it just breaks down in the pot, leaving behind all of that wonderful flavor. It’s a cinch to make, now that we don’t have to prepare 25 pound batches. Long ago the pork from a very recently butchered hog would be cured in large batches, and kept in barrels. Here is what The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901 had to say on the subject, along with the process:

Pork should be pickled about twenty hours after killing. It is pickled always in sufficient quantity to last for some time, for if proper care is taken, it will keep one year after pickling; but it may also be pickled in small quantities of three or four pounds at a time, reducing other ingredients in the recipe according to quantity of pork used. To twenty-five pounds of Pork allow one ounce of saltpetre. Pulverize thoroughly and mix with a sufficient quantity of salt to thoroughly salt the pork. Cut the Pork into pieces of about two pounds, and slash each piece through the skin, and then rub thoroughly with the salt and saltpetre mixture till the meat is thoroughly penetrated through and through. Mash the cloves very fine and grind the allspice; chop the onions. Take a small barrel and place at the bottom a layer of salt, then a layer of coarsely chopped onions, and sprinkle over this a layer of the spices and minced bay leaves. Place on this a layer of Pork; pack tightly; then place above this a layer of salt and seasonings, and continue with alternate layers of Pork and seasonings until the Pork is used up. Conclude with a layer of the minced herbs and spices and have a layer of salt on top. Cover the preparation with a board on which a heavy weight must be placed to press down the meat. It will be ready for use in ten or twelve days.

Here is a more modern version, which is more of a brine than the version in the old text. I love the slight acidic flavor that it lends to a pot of Red Beans. Spare rib tips are a common cut used to make Pickle Meat.

Pickled Pork or Pickle Meat Recipe

2 lbs. Very Fresh Pork (I used Spare rib tips, boned and cut into strips 3″ long by 1″ thick)
1 Qt. White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Mustard Seed
6 Each Whole Cloves
6 Each Whole Allspice
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
6 Whole Garlic Cloves
1/2 of a Medium Onion, Coarsely Chopped
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns
1 pinch Pink Meat Cure

Add all the ingredients except the Pork to a 2 qt Saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes, then place it into a container to cool in the refrigerator. When the mixture is completely cold, add the pork.

Very important: Make sure the pork is completely covered with the brine; gently stir to remove any air bubbles.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 days before using.

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Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya Recipe

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I make my Jambalaya partly on the stove, then finish it in the oven, although it takes a bit longer to cook, I find the even heat turns out a better product. For this recipe I used Chicken and Shrimp so I wanted my stock to have both of those flavors, real simple. I heated up the right amount of Chicken Stock and added some raw Shrimp shells to it and simmered for about 20-30 minutes, then strained. It gives it a quick little infusion. I do the same thing when making a Cassoulet, except with Lamb bones, if I’m using Lamb. I will feature Cassoulet in the coming winter months. The Jambalaya Recipe:

Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya Recipe

Seasoning Mix (1/4 tsp Cayenne, 3/4 tsp White Pepper, 1 tsp Kosher Salt, 1/4 tsp Thyme, 1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage, 1/4 tsp Dried Basil, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper)

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Diced Andouille Sausage
1/4 Cup Diced Tasso
1/2 Cup Diced Onion
1/2 Cup Diced Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Diced Celery
1/2 Cup Diced Fresh Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
3/4 Cup Enriched Long Grain Rice
1 3/4 Cup Chicken Stock with a Shrimp shell infusion (see above)
1 Tbsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Minced Fresh Garlic
1/2 Cup Diced Chicken (Cooked or raw)
1 1/2 Cup Raw Medium Shrimp
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Italian Parsley
3 Tbsp Finely Sliced Green Onions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onion, Celery, Bell Pepper).
In a Cast Iron Dutch Oven, melt the butter over medium heat, add the Andouille and Tasso, and cook until it just starts to brown. Add 1/2 of the Holy Trinity, cook until the vegetables are tender (nothing smells better than rendering Andouille and Tasso with the Holy Trinity). Add the diced Tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add the Tomato Sauce and cook for another minute. Add the Rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the Stock, the remaining Holy Trinity, Seasoning Mix, Worcestershire, and the Garlic. Taste the broth for seasoning, particularly salt. Add the Chicken, stir well and put the pot in the preheated oven. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. After the twenty-five minutes stir in the raw Shrimp, Parsley, 2 Tbsp of the Green Onions, place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until the Shrimp are cooked through. Serve with French Bread and your favorite Beer. Garnish with Green Onions.

Serves 2-3

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Creole Chicken Bonne Femme Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

The French term Bonne Femme translates to Good Woman or Good Wife, but in French culinary terms it generally means with mushrooms, which is not always the case in Creole cooking. Antoine’s does (or did, until they reopen) an Oyster Bonne Femme which is wonderful, but quite a bit different from most Creole, Bonne Femme dishes, they also make a version of Chicken Bonne Femme. Here is my version of the Creole classic:

Creole Chicken Bonne Femme Recipe

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded lightly for even cooking
2 Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8″ rounds
3/4 Cup Spanish Onion, diced
1/8 Cup Green Onions, Sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Cup Ham, diced
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
1/4 Cup White Wine
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Sliced Green Onions for Garnish

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the chicken breast liberally with salt and pepper. Add the Olive Oil and 1 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter to a medium high saute pan. When hot add the chicken breasts and saute until golden brown on both sides, set aside.
Add the potatoes to the hot saute pan and saute until tender. Add the onions, ham, and garlic, saute until the onions are translucent, fold or stir gently as to not break up the potatoes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, cook for 2 minutes. Season the “sauce” with salt & black pepper to taste. Gently nestle the chicken breasts in the sauce and place in the oven until the chicken is just cooked through.
Remove from the oven, place the chicken on 2 heated serving plates. Add the parsley, and the remaining 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter to the sauce, shake the pan until it is incorporated. Divide the sauce over each chicken breast, garnish with the green onions and serve.

Serves 2.

More Creole Chicken dishes at Nola Cuisine:

Chicken Clemenceau
Chicken Pontalba
Chicken Rochambeau

Also check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!

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Marchand de Vin Sauce Recipe

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After making that beautiful Beef Stock recently, I decided to post on one of my favorite NOLA Cuisine, classic sauces: Marchand de Vin. You will find this sauce in all of the old line restaurants: Anotoine’s, Galatoire’s, Brennan’s, Arnaud’s. This sauce is perfect for a steak, or Grilled Pork (photo) and even better on the decadent Breakfast dish, Eggs Hussarde. Eggs Hussarde is, bottom to top: Holland rusk, Canadian Bacon or Ham, Marchand de Vin Sauce, Poached Egg, Hollandaise. Served with baked Tomato halves. The sauce recipe:

Marchand de Vin Sauce Recipe

3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Finely Minced Ham
1/2 Cup Finely chopped Green Onions
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Mushrooms
2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 Cups Beef Stock
3/4 Cup Red Wine
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste.
Dash of Cayenne

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and saute the Ham, Onions, Mushrooms, and Garlic over medium heat until the whites of the onions are translucent. Add the flour and cook, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes. Add the Beef Stock and Red Wine, Bring to a boil. Add seasonings. Let simmer for about 40 minutes. The sauce should coast the back of a spoon.

*Note* You may or may not need salt in this recipe due to the ham.
**Variation** The flour can be omitted if desired, just reduce the sauce to the correct consistency.

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Chaurice Sausage Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

Chaurice (pronounced shore-EESE) is a fresh Creole Sausage, similar and probably derived from the Spanish Chorizo, without the curing process. Chaurice is often served, pan fried as a side to Red Beans & Rice, as well as used as a seasoning meat in many one pot meals, such as Gumbo. The legendary Leah Chase of Dookie Chase swears by a good quality Chaurice in her Creole Gumbo. Here is what the Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901 had to say about Chaurice and Creole Sausages:

It has been said by visitors to New Orleans that the Creoles excel all other cooks in preparing appetizing Sausages. From the old Creole women who go about the streets crying out Belle Saucisses! Belle Chaurice! to the Boudins and Saucissons so temptingly prepared by the Creole butchers in the French Market, the Creole Sausage enters largely into domestic cookery and forms a delightful flavoring of many dainty dishes, especially of the vegetable order, while in the preparation of the famous ‘Jambalaya,’ the Chaurice, is one of the most necessary and indispensable ingredients. Though Sausages of any of these varieties may be bought in the French Market and other stalls daily, many of the ancient housewives and cooks prefer to prepare their Sausages…

Here is my version of the Creole classic Chaurice. I like to make a decent sized batch which I portion into vacuum sealed packages and freeze.

Chaurice Sausage Recipe

3 lbs Pork with plenty of fat (I use Boston Butt) Cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Medium Spanish Onion, Chopped
3 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves, Chopped
4 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
4 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
1 pinch Meat Curing Salt (Optional) (Here is what I use: http://www.butcher-packer.com/pg_curing_dq.htm)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss thoroughly.
Cover and let stand in the refrigerator overnight (this step is optional).
Place all of your grinding equipment in the refrigerator 1 hour before grinding. Using the 1/2″ die for your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients. Alternatively you could finely mince the ingredients in a food processor or by hand. Cook a small patty to taste for seasonings, reseason if necessary. Follow my instructions for Linking Homemade Sausage. I make my Chaurice into about 10 inch lengths. When finished, I vacuum seal the links into individual portions and freeze. They will keep indefinately in the freezer.

Other Sausage and Seasoning Meat Recipes on Nola Cuisine:

Andouille Sausage
Tasso Recipe
Pickled Pork

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Red Beans & Rice Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

Where do I start on this topic? How about Louis Armstrong! This was his comfort food, his “birthright” as he once said, as I’m sure it is for many New Orleanians. He actually used to sign his name Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong. I’ve been a huge Louis Armstrong fan since I discovered him when I was a kid, so it’s hard not to think of him when eating a big plate of Red Beans. I’ve tracked down two different red beans recipes from Louis Armstrong which I will share in the future.
Everyone has their own recipe for Red Beans & Rice, just like most great New Orleans classics, most of which probably change a little with each cooking, usually depending on either:
what’s in the refrigerator, or what looked good at the store.
This one is made with my homemade Tasso, and homemade Andouille Sausage, so it has a rich, down home smoky flavor.
This traditional Monday lunch in New Orleans, stems from lean times, and a good cook’s sense of how to make something, out of nothing! It’s my absolute favorite thing to cook, I make it once a week, usually on Monday, staying with tradition. I never follow a recipe, but you can always find nine, or so, cookbooks open on my table when I’m cooking it. I always search for a new technique, they almost always turn out good, but once in awhile, there is magic in the pot.
So here is some traditional Monday comfort food, and anyone who loves New Orleans, can certainly use any comfort they can get these days.

Red Beans & Ricely Yours – Danno

Red Beans & Rice Recipe

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 Cup Andouille Sausage, Cubed
1 Cup Tasso, Cubed
1/2 lb. Small Red Beans (soaked overnight or for at least a few hours)
1 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock (You could certainly use water)
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar (When I don’t use Pickle Meat, I add a little vinegar because I like the flavor it lends. Pickle Meat makes wonderful Red Beans by the way; recipe forthcoming.)
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce (I learned this from Louis Armstrong’s Recipe)
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper). Drain the beans.
Melt the butter over medium heat.
Add 1/2 of the Holy Trinity, 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning, Tasso, and the Andouille, turn the heat to medium high. Cook this for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to get some color.
Add the beans and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
Add the Chicken Stock or Water, Garlic, Bay Leaves, the remaining Trinity and Creole Seasoning. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for 2- 2 1/2 Hours. The first hour is low maintenance; an occasional stir and making sure the beans are covered with liquid. The second hour, you want to check back a little more often, the beans will really start to absorb some liquid and you don’t want them to stick.
After the beans have cooked for two hours, add the Tomato Sauce, the Parsley and 1/2 of the Green Onions. Make your Rice. Cook the beans for another half hour.
To Serve:
Remove the Bay Leaves. Mound a half cup of Rice each, onto two serving plates, Cover with a generous helping of the Red Beans, Garnish with the remaining Green Onions. Make sure there is a bottle of hot sauce on the table. Perfect compliments to this meal are a simple vinaigrette salad, Good Crusty French Bread, and your favorite Ice Cold Beer.

Serves 2-3

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Grillades & Grits Recipe

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Here is one of the uses for Beef Stock within Creole Cuisine that I mentioned; although most cooks probably use water in their recipe, I use Beef Stock in mine. Grillades (pronounced GREE-ahds) & Grits is a dish widely served for breakfast or brunch in South Louisiana. I enjoy this dish for a comfy Sunday evening meal. Here is some of what the Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901 had to say about Grillades:

…The round of the meat is always selected for Grillades, and one steak will serve six persons. The steak is cut into pieces of about six or eight squares and each piece is called a Grillade.
Grillades are a favorite dish among the poorer classes of Creoles, especially being served not only for breakfast, but also at dinner, in the latter instance with gravy and a dish of Red Beans and Boiled Rice.

A note about Grits. Up here in Yankee-land, Grits get no respect, my theory is that it has largely to do with the name. Polenta is similar and widely popular up here in Italian restaurants; but it also has a nice, soft name that rolls off of the tongue. People like to say Polenta. Grits sounds like a shotgun blast, and few up here will touch them. Oh well, their loss. I like the Old Fashioned Grits, which are the slower cooking variety, as opposed to the Quick or Instant Grits. They only take a short while longer to cook, and they finish with a better texture.

Grillades & Grits Recipe

2 lbs Round Steak
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ Cup A.P. Flour
2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Medium Onions, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Ribs Celery, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Cups Beef Stock
3 Tbsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
2 Cups Tomatoes, Chopped
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste
2 Tbsp Dark Roux
1/8 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Recipe of Grits made according to the Package Instructions

Pound the Round Steak on both sides to about ½ inch thickness, then cut into 4 inch squares. Season the Grillades with the salt & cayenne pepper. Combine the flour and Creole Seasoning, dip the Grillades one at a time into the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Brown the Grillades well on both sides without burning. Transfer the Grillades to a plate. Drain off the vegetable oil and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the Onions, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Garlic and, stirring frequently, cook until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Stir in the Beef Stock, Worcestershire, Tomatoes, and Bay Leaves; bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the Grillades and the accumulated juice from the plate back to the pot. Submerge the Grillades in the sauce and simmer for about 1 ½ hours or until they are very tender. When the Grillades are tender remove them to a plate and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the Roux and stir until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the parsley, 1/4 cup of the green onions, red wine vinegar, hot sauce, and salt & pepper. Mound the Grits on 4 heated plates and divide the steaks on top of the Grits. Pour the sauce over the Grillades & Grits, top with the remaining Green Onions and serve immediately.

Serves 4

**Update – 3/26/2005** For another great recipe using Grits, check out my friend Caryn’s Gorgonzola Grit Cakes at Delicious! Delicious!. Her photos are so gorgeous I chipped a tooth on my monitor trying to take a bite out of one of these babies.

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Beef Stock or Brown Stock Recipe

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I know you’ve heard the speech before, To have a great finished product, you need to have a great stock, and Good cooks make Good Stocks. I would love to pass on a good shortcut here, but there really is no substitute or shortcut for a well made stock. The only way to make a great stock is the slow, tedious way, but what you will be left with will bless every dish made with it with a richness and depth of flavor that cannot come out of a can. I love making stock, I do it about once a month and store the bounty in the freezer for future use. It’s really not a lot of actual work, it just takes some planning. The planning mainly comes from sandbagging bones in the freezer. My local grocery store sells veal and beef bones, but they only have a few packages at a time, so I buy them whenever I see them. When I have at least 10 lbs I make stock.
I make stock not so much by recipe, as by ratio. When making stocks in a restaurant, you’re not measuring out water. You start with a certain poundage of bones, a ratio of mire poix to the bones, and you build on that. It’s still a recipe, in a manner of speaking, but it’s a little different. It still comes out the same everytime, but you’re not filling measuring cups of water, there is no time for that in a restaurant kitchen, or in my home kitchen for that matter.
Here is how I make Beef Stock at home, using the restaurant procedure. I used 8 lbs of Veal bones and 4 lbs of Beef bones. If you can find all Veal Bones, it’s better. Veal bones make a more subtle Brown Stock.

Beef Stock or Brown Stock Recipe

8 lbs Veal Bones
4 lbs Beef Bones
About 1 1/2 Cups Tomato Paste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the bones on roasting pans in a single layer, I use two pans. Roast the bones in the oven for 2 hours, turning them over occasionally. Roast until nicely browned, black is bad. When the bones are deep brown, smear the Tomato Paste onto the bones and put them back in the oven for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the paste starts to brown.
Transfer the bones to a large stockpot using tongs. Cover the bones by 2 inches with COLD water. Bring up almost to a boil, immediately turn the heat down. Skim any impurities and scum off of the surface with a fine mesh skimmer, or ladle. You want the stock at what we call a Lazy Simmer. A slow bubble here and there. Once you’ve achieved this, you can pretty much leave the stock alone, checking periodically to make sure you’re maintaining your lazy simmer, and to skim. Frequent skimming is important. Also, you always want to keep the solids covered with liquid, if it gets low, add a little cold water. Simmer for about 2-3 hours.
In the mean time, add the following (except the Sachet bag) to your pans with the brownings:

5 Medium Onions, Quartered, skins and all (washed)
5 Carrots, Washed and cut into 2 inch Chunks
5 Stalks Celery, Washed and cut into 2 inch Chunks
1 Paw of Garlic (the whole head)

Sachet d’Epices (wrapped in a cheesecloth bundle and tied):
3 Fresh Bay leaves
4-5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme or 2 tsp dried
4-5 Parsley Stems
3-4 Garlic Cloves Crushed
1 Tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns

Coat the mirepoix with the fat and Roast in the oven for about 1 hour or until the Onions are Caramelized. Put the roasted vegetables into a bowl and set aside. Deglaze with about 1-2 cups of cold water in each, scraping away the brown particles with a whisk. Do not skip this step. There is HUGE flavor hiding in these seemingly dirty pans! Add the liquid to the simmering stock.
When the stock has simmered for about 3 hours, add the Mirepoix and Sachet to the pot. Simmer for 3-4 hours more.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. A conical strainer is best if you have one. I ladle the stock into the strainer. The object is to avoid stirring or disturbing the stock too much, making it cloudy. Also, Do not press on the bones or other ingredients to release more liquid. Discard the solids.
At this point, if you want to concentrate the flavor, you can put the strained stock on the stove at a brisk simmer and let it reduce to your liking. Otherwise, cool the stock down as quickly as possible. Submerging the container in a sink filled with ice water works best, stirring occasionally. You do not want to put hot stock into the fridge.
The next day, take the stock out of the fridge, skim and discard the solidified fat from the top. You can now freeze the stock in small, convenient batches. Julia Child always suggested freezing some stock into ice cube trays, which gives you small portions to spruce-up sauces.

Makes about 1 Gallon of stock

This weeks recipes featuring Beef Stock:

Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe
Grillades and Grits
Creole Turtle Soup Recipe
Marchand de Vin Sauce

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