Recipe: Dirty, Dirty Rice

Published on: March 10th, 2019

With rice, as with riffs, dirty is good! Dirty rice, a kind of Proto-jamalaya, is staple of many varieties of Southern cooking, including Creole and, of course, Cajun.

It's a pretty fool proof and forgiving dish. Most recipes include a couple of varieties of meat and the familiar base of garlic plus the trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery. Given the matrix of rice, there's something to be said for finely chopping the vegetables and finely crumbling the meats. Dirty rice can be made well ahead; some people like it better the day after.

It's great dish for improvising. For instance, replace either the ground beef or pork with chopped tasso, or with a pound poultry giblets, finely chopped and boiled in salt water until tender. Another interesting variation adds a 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads along with the stock.

2 cups uncooked rice. Longer grained rice like Basmati that doesn't stick together is best.
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork or pork sausage, crumbled
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped (1 medium)
1/2 cup celery, chopped (~3 ribs)
2-3 cloves garlic
Red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste
1-2 cups stock of your choice
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops

Cook the rice according to the usual instructions and reserve.

In large heavy skillet, cook the ground pork and beef over low heat. 

As soon as the fat begins to render, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Stir and cook until the vegetables soften. 

Add the pepper flakes, and stir and cook for a couple of minutes. 

Add the stock and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. 

Add parsely, green onions, cooked rice, and stir together. 

Cover tightly and let stand for at least 10 minutes and up to several hours. 

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