They said I was crazy. But it is not I who am crazy. It is I who am mad...
Ever since I tried kicking this tailgating classic up a few notches a year ago, I knew I could do better.
For one, I over-salted the hell out of the original version. For another, I knew I could just make the flavors a bit more intense. So let's call this a refined, more stream-lined version of a super-flavorful, gourmet jambalaya.
It's not necessarily practical for EVERY tailgate -- half the benefits of cooking jambalaya are that it's cheap, and using some fancier ingredients here would cancel that up a bit, especially over a larger scale. And others prefer chicken & sausage over all-pork. It's just my own preference here.
2 bottles Guinness Extra-Stout
2 14.5-oz cans chicken stock
1/2 cup worcestshire sauce
1 12-oz can chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup minced garlic
3 lbs diced pork stew meat (Boston Butt works best)
1 lb smoked pulled pork
4 cups white rice
4 poblano peppers, seeded & diced
3 onions, diced
1 lb mild smoked sausage, diced
1 lb hot sausage, diced
1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves
1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
**Note: Once again, the pulled pork had been frozen and leftover from a previous barbecue. As for the beer, last year I worked with Abita Turbodog, but this year I happened to have a couple of bottles of the Guinness Extra-Stout around. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan -- it just doesn't quite taste right out of the bottle the way it does the draught cans, but my wife needed some for a different recipe and I didn't feel like letting it go to waste. The flavors are close enough, but I do think you get a bit more of a roasted flavor out of Turbodog, so if you're trying this yourself I would probably still recommend that. As usual, try and let the beer flatten out a little bit in a measuring cup prior to cooking.**
1. In a large, heavy Dutch oven, fry off the pulled pork over medium heat. The goal here is to get as much fat to render off into liquid as possible.
2. Once you have a wet pan, add the onions and saute until wilted. From there, add the diced pork meat and brown until cooked.
3. Add both sausage varieties, and cook until you see some more liquid render out and cook off.
4. Add the poblano peppers and garlic, saute well until wilted.
5. The addition of the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce is a fantastic -- something I find myself using more often in other dishes as well. It gives a lot of intense, smoky flavor with just a bit of heat without being overpoweringly hot. I even served this to some young kids and they didn't complain one bit. Empty your can into a food processor, and add a bit of water or chicken stock and pulse until the mixture is smoothed and everything is well chopped.
6. Add the chipotle mixture to the pot and stir well to incorporate and coat as much of it as you can. You want to see everything in the pot with a bit of that reddish-brown tint to it.
7. From there, add the dry seasonings -- the thyme and rosemary and stir well.
8. Add the rice into the pot and stir well to mix everything up as much as possible. Again, you want to see that sauce color as consistently as you can throughout.
9. This is just a personal preference, but I like to add all the liquid together at once, so I combined the beer, chicken stock and worcestshire all in one large measuring cup. Remember, you want about a 2:1 liquid-rice ratio, and while I don't quite have that below, there was still a bit of liquid in the pot from the meat, sauce and other fixins.
9. Add the liquid to the pot, stirring well to make sure every kernel of rice gets coated. Bring your mixture to a good boil, then reduce to simmer and cover the pot. Use a layer of aluminum foil in addition to the pot cover to make sure the liquid absorbs without evaporating off too quickly.
10. Stir the pot every 20 minutes or so, making sure to turn the mixture so nothing stays on the bottom too long and sticks. Once the liquid's gone and the rice is cooked, you are ready to serve.
This should serve about 10-15 people comfortably, and it will go even further if you add a little white beans with some ham and sausage. Between the beer, the chipotles and all the seasoning, this will be intense. Not too hot, just very flavorful.