When Jason Gonzalez was growing up, Grandma Mabel’s dirty rice was a family staple. She made hers the traditional Cajun way with livers. Today, Gonzalez puts his own spin on her recipe by folding in bits of smoked brisket or beef cheeks to sit alongside the brisket and beef ribs on the menu at Gonzo’s in Luling, Louisiana. You can use whatever beef you’re smoking, or find prepared brisket from your favorite barbecue joint to pair with this dirty rice.
Serves 6 to 8
3 cups long-grain rice
4 1⁄2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄3 cup beef tallow (you can substitute lard or bacon grease)
1⁄3 cup flour
2 cups chopped white onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1⁄4 cup minced garlic
1 cup beef stock
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1⁄2 pounds smoked brisket, chopped into bits
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
Chopped green onions, for serving
For the rice:
For the gravy and meat:
- Cook the rice: Rinse rice in cold water until water runs clear. In a pot, add rice, beef stock, bay leaf, and thyme; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until all stock is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Once cooked, use a fork to fluff rice.
- Make the gravy: Heat a medium-sized cast-iron pot over medium heat. Add beef tallow and flour and whisk to create a roux. Continue whisking over heat until roux becomes a dark peanut butter color, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to roux and cook, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for an additional 1 to 2 minutes to let flavors develop.
- Stir in beef stock and Worcestershire sauce and bring mixture to a boil. Decrease heat to medium low. Cover and cook until mixture thickens and roux is fully cooked down and has no bitter taste, about 1 hour.
- Add smoked brisket and stir to evenly mix into gravy. Fold in cooked rice, pepper, salt, and cayenne until combined. Adjust seasoning as needed and serve with green onion.
Recipe ByJason Gonzalez of Gonzo’s Smokehouse & BBQ in Luling, Louisiana