I got an urge yesterday for a big pan of dirty rice. Coming from Appalachia, I’m still not entirely sure what the difference between dirty rice and rice dressing is; I’ve seen what looked to be the same dish called both things. Since I was serving it up as a main dish instead of like dressing with something else, I’ll just call it dirty rice, which has such a good ring anyway. 😉
I didn’t get any photos, since I started this blog after there was a sad little leftover pile of rice left in the pan, but it turned out as good as I was hoping. Most of what you’d have seen, anyway, was an impression of, erm, dirty brownness with some flecks of green onion breaking it up a little. Pretty it ain’t, until you start thinking about the flavor. 🙂
My husband doesn’t like liver at all, so I didn’t put any in there. A few chopped up chicken livers does make the taste more complex.
Last Night’s Dirty Rice
- 1/2 lb. (or 200-250g) ground beef
- 1/2 lb. (or 200-250g) Quick basic sausage-alike
- A chopped onion
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 1/2 a chopped sweet pepper (we had half a yellow one sitting there)
- 2-4 cloves minced garlic (mmm, garlic!)
- A bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. oil, if your meat is lean enough to stick to the pan
In a deep skillet, fry everything but the garlic up together until the meat is starting to brown and the vegetables are nicely wilted, then throw in the garlic and let it fry for a few minutes longer.
- 2 c. (or 500mL) beef broth (I used a Kallo cube)
- About a tbsp. of GF soy sauce for extra richness
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne, or less if you don’t like it hot
- 1/2 – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, ditto!
- 1.5-2 tsp. mixed herbs (or you can use a mixture of marjoram and thyme)
- 3 tbsp. very dark GF roux
- Small pinch of sugar for extra complexity
Add these ingredients to the fried meat and vegetable mixture, to make your sauce.
At this point, you will probably want to start your pot of rice, if you’re living close enough to sea level that it really does take 20 minutes to cook. Back home, at a higher elevation, I’d have started it while the meat and veggies were frying, for 30-35 minutes cooking time.
Let the sauce simmer, covered, for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Take the lid off and let some of the water reduce out, if it isn’t a fairly thin gravy consistency. (Add a little water if it’s too thick.) You want it to be able to coat the rice without being so thick it gets really globby after the rice soaks up some of the liquid. Taste for seasoning. Once it’s mixed in with the rice, it should taste about half as hot as the sauce alone does. At this point, I also threw in some chopped parsley for a little flavor and some color (though it didn’t end up giving that much contrast!).
- 1 – 1.5 c. uncooked long grain rice (I used jasmine), cooked with twice the volume of water and some salt
- Chopped green onion to taste
Mix the hot rice into your hot pan of sauce, and throw in some green onion. You can keep extra green onion to the side for a garnish. Let the dish sit a few minutes, so the flavors can blend some, and enjoy!