My brother's been living in Baton Rouge for the last four years or so and when he comes up to visit ,conversation always turns to food. When I first asked him about popular dishes other than the normal gumbo, jambalaya and red beans and rice that he sees there, he tells me that he's never seen so much gravy and rice in his life. Talk always centers around whose mama, aunt, cousin or sister makes the best. Gravy and rice is filling and cheap and so here I put my spin on it with fresh and smoked pork neck bones and some toasted flour for thickening. Served up with greens and corn bread, it's a party! —inpatskitchen
about 8 servings
pounds fresh pork neck bones , seasoned with salt and pepper
smoked pork neck bones
large onion, diced
large green bell pepper, diced
stalks celery, diced
cloves garlic, minced
cayenne pepper(or a little more for more lip smackin!)
Approximately 8 cups water
cup AP flour which you have lightly toasted in a saute pan over medium heat, stirring all the while until a light tan color
Worcestershire sauce (or more if you like)
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and brown the fresh neck bones on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, cayenne and black pepper. Saute until everything softens up and becomes fragrant.
Return the browned neck bones along with the smoked bones to the pot and add enough water to cover. Bring up to the boil and then simmer for about an hour or until the meat is ready to fall off the bones.
Remove the bones from the pot and let cool a bit. Once cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones either with a knife or your clean hands, returning the meat to the pot. Be careful not to let any small bone return to the pot.
Make a slurry of water and about 1/2 cup of the toasted flour and add it to the simmering pot. Once it boils again, check for the thickness of your gravy..if it's too thin you may want to make another slurry with some or all of the remaining flour.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and then taste. Add salt as needed...this will depend not only on your taste, but on how salty your smoked bones were.
At this point, if you're making ahead you can cool and refrigerate the pot. When ready to serve, bring back up to the boil, stir in the green onion.
Place about a cup of the cooked rice into each bowl, ladle some gravy over and garnish with more green onion. Get out the greens and corn bread!
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!