Rice and Gravy

6:18 AM

I feel absolutely terrible posting two posts back-to-back with particularly bad photos, but trust me, you have to completely disregard how gross this dinner looks. 

A little background: I am from the East, and the hubs is a coonass from Louisiana.  When we first moved in together, the second dinner he cooked for me was rice and gravy (the first dinner he ended up literally deep frying eggs and singing all of the hair off of his forearms!! Ah...the good ole' days...)  My husband kept insisting that he was going to make me "rice and gravy," and since I had no idea what that was, he explained its something his mom made ALL the time when he was growing up, and its a staple down where he's from.  When I asked what exactly it was, he said "well, its boiled meat..." and I instantly vomited a little in my mouth.  This man that I was head over heels for, who I had just made a serious commitment with, just offered me boiled meat for one of our first dinners together? Puh-lease...

He wouldn't back down despite how much I protested, and once I actually took my first bite, I thought I died and went to heaven!!  The meat (you can use different types) is so incredibly tender and very flavorful, and the gravy that it makes...well, I would drink that all day every day if people wouldn't stare and judge me.  You have to serve this over rice...after all, it is called rice and gravy!  Rice and gravy is such a cheap meal, and its so good that this is honestly one of our "good" dinners that we make whenever we are in the mood for a great dinner.  

After being with my husband for ten years, I finally made it for the first time on my own, and I did a darn good job if I say so myself!! I did my best to write out the "recipe," and I got a thumbs up from the hubs, so hopefully I explained it well.  The only thing about cooking rice and gravy is that you will want to use a good, seasoned cast iron pot, and it takes a while to "boil down," probably about two hours or so.  I would say give this a try on a weekend when you have the time and aren't in a rush for dinner.  You must give this a try, it is so, so, so good!!! I promise!!

Rice and Gravy

about 3 pounds beef chuck roast (or chicken leg quarters or bone-in pork chops, all equally fabulous)
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 bunch green onions, diced
2-3 bay leaves
splash of vinegar
cajun seasoning (Tony's Chacheres), to taste

1.  Heat a cast iron pot over medium-high heat.  Cube the roast into large chunks (about 3-inch cubes).  Sear meat in hot cast iron pot and allow to get very brown - the more browned (almost burned!) the more it will flavor the gravy.  If using chicken leg quarters or pork chops, you may have to brown them in sections to allow for space.

2.  Remove meat from pot and set aside.  Add onions to the pot and cook down until very soft and translucent (even if they are on the verge of burning, its ok, at least says the hubs, who is the pro).  Once the onions are cooked down substantially, return the meat to the pot.  Add enough water to cover the meat, then the bay leaves and a splash of vinegar.  Allow the water to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to about medium - high enough to where it still boils, but not violently.  Cover.

3.  The rest is a long waiting process - check the pot about every 10 minutes or so to check the level of water.  For beef (which takes longer to get tender), you will want to allow the water to boil almost all of the way down 2-3 times - once it boils down, add more water to cover all of the meat again.  Pork chops and chicken probably only need about 2 "boil downs" since they become tender much quicker. Towards your last cycle of "boiling down," season with cajun seasoning to taste.  To know if you are done, your meat should be extremely tender, and the boiled down water should be very flavorful and delicious.  There should be about an inch of gravy left when you are done.  Serve over prepared rice, and enjoy!

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