Pork & Sausage Jambalaya
This is one dish that is synonymous with Cajun Country…and Louisiana in general. There are many variations of this dish: Red Jambalaya (Creole/New Orleans style with a tomato base) and Brown Jambalaya (Cajun depiction of this dish) to name a few. And although the first time the word “Jambalaya” was printed was in 1837, I am sure that this dish dates back well before then. Down here in Louisiana, you can open a menu at any local restaurant and order Jambalaya…and it’s gonna be good!
I was on a business trip up in the Carolina’s where we stopped at restaurant to grab a bite to eat. As I scanned the menu, something stood out and grabbed my attention: “Cajun Jambalaya”. My associates, most who were from different parts of the country and my brother commented “…you aren’t gonna order that are you?” I explained that I felt that it was my duty, a higher calling if you will, to not only order this dish but to validate or instruct the chef who presented it praise or criticism. See, I am a Cajun! I am aware of the “lure” of the word Cajun and its intrigue. We are honored to see the rest of the world embrace our culture and want to “taste what Cajun is all about”. So, yes…I ordered the dish with the qualifier to the waitress “…if this ain’t Cajun Jambalaya, I’m gonna tell you, OK? And let the Chef know that a Cajun is ordering this!” Well, just as I thought, it was the worst tasting food I have ever put in my mouth. Not only was it not Jambalaya…it was down right bad food. I called the waitress over and explained to her that “…this is not Cajun, and it’s definitely NOT Jambalaya!” She apologized and asked if I would like to order something else? I thanked her and told her that what I wanted her to do is ask the Chef if he wanted me to go back there and show him how to do a Jambalaya right? She went ask the Chef, who apparently was offended of my remarks, who responded with “…you tell that customer I know how to cook, and if he doesn’t like it to just not eat it!” He was offended? How do you think I felt about such an appalling attempt to represent “my culture”…and people are eating this garbage thinking “…this is Cajun?!!”
So my goal in this recipe is to show you how my momma, my daddy, my grand parents, and their parents have cooked Cajun Jambalaya! And when you cook this dish and follow this recipe, you are cooking and later enjoying “Cajun Jambalaya”!
- 3 lbs of cubed Boston Butt (pork meat) Note: do not trim off too much fat
- 4 cups of diced yellow onions
- 1 cup of diced green bell pepper
- ½ cup of diced celery
- ½ cup of onion tops (scallions)
- 1 lb. of smoke pork sausage (sliced or quartered)
- 1 qt. of beef broth
- 4 cups of long grained rice
- 6 cups of water
- 2 table spoons of Cajun Seasoning
No Cajun Seasoning? No problem. In a small bowl add:
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
And this is pretty much “Cajun Seasoning”
Now we like cooking in Cast Iron pots down South, but you can use just about any type of pot. 7-9 qt. is what will be required (or bigger). Place the pot on the stove, or if you have a Cajun Grill, in the pot holder and bring your fire (coals) as high as it can go! Shovel in the meat, cubed pork & sausage, and stir occasionally. You will notice that there will be a “crude” start to develop on the bottom of the pot and your stirring utensil. Don’t try and scrape off the bottom of the pot…this brown crude is what will make the dish dark brown…flavor!!! After 20-30 minutes, add vegetables (onions, bell pepper, celery, scallions) to the pot. Reduce heat a little, but not too much. Stir occasionally until veggies are soft (approx. 15-20 minutes). Add in the beef broth, water, rice and seasoning…stir all the ingredients to ensure the seasoning has been dissolved and spread around the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and place lid on the pot. After 15-20 minutes, remove lid and check to see if the rice is cooked. If it isn’t…place lid back on and continue for a while more. When rice is cooked, remove lid and take your utensil and stir entire pot: rice, meat, veggies and toss several time to fluff the Jambalaya…And that’s it!
You have just made some Cajun Jambalaya…now go eat!
You can substitute pork for chicken, or whatever floats your pirogue’ (a Cajun boat)’! And if you like this dish, please pass along the recipe to your friends and family. And let them know that this here came from a “Real Cajun Boy”!!!