Dirty rice is the mashed potatoes and gravy of the Cajun table. The trick to this recipe is to really caramelize the ground beef.
- Sear the meat: Season block of sirloin with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until it starts to smoke. Place sirloin block in the skillet in one piece and let it sear until it browns and caramelizes, 3 to 5 minutes. Then flip and sear 3 to 5 minutes on the other side.
- Once sirloin is well seared, use a spatula to chop it up in the pan. Add black pepper, cumin, and cayenne and stir well. Cook for a minute. Add beer and cook 1 minute longer, scraping up any browned bits. Remove from heat and set aside. (At this point, you could freeze the meat for up to 6 weeks.)
- Make the gravy: In a heavy dutch oven over medium heat, make a dark roux using the oil and flour, stirring constantly for about 45 minutes. Once it’s the color of milk chocolate, stir in onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook for a minute. Stir in garlic and cook another minute. Add beer and mix well. In 3 batches, add stock, stirring well between each addition. Stir frequently, but not continuously, until you have a gravy thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Once gravy is done, add the cooked beef. Add a splash of stock to pan to deglaze any additional pieces and add to gravy and meat. Bring meat and gravy mixture back to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1½ hours, or until the flour has cooked out. To serve, add cooked rice, butter, and green onions to the pot. Stir together over low heat to warm through. Add salt to taste and serve.
Makes 6 cups
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients with 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a low simmer. Stir, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam in covered pan for 10 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Fluff with fork and serve or cool immediately. (If you’re using the rice in something else, like dirty rice, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate immediately.)
From A Cajun Christmas