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Round Steak with Rice & Gravy
When I think of home-cooked Cajun food, I think of rice and gravy. And when I think of rice and gravy, I think of Mom’s smothered round steak. This recipe is simple and flexible (you can cook chicken or pork chops the same way), but you can’t rush it. The keys are to brown the meat very well so that you have plenty of good stuff sticking to the bottom of the pan to make a good, dark gravy, and to allow yourself at least an hour and a half to let the dish simmer after the meat is browned and the liquid is added.
Smothered Round Steak
1 full-cut round steak, cut into pieces
Cooking oil (just enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
1 large onion, diced
1 medium pepper, diced
Season steak with Cajun/Creole seasoning. In a heavy pan/dutch oven/magnalite pot, pour in just enough cooking oil to cover the bottom. Brown the round steak in the oil, making sure to get it nice and brown, almost to the point of burning it. Remove steak, add the diced vegetables and sauté them until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Add just enough water to deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape all the good stuff that stuck to the bottom, and then return the meat to the pan. Add enough water to almost cover the meat, reduce heat to simmer, and put a lid on it. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1.5-2 hours (meat will become fork-tender). Add water as necessary to keep the meat from sticking and to make sure you end up with enough liquid to make a gravy. Depending on how thick you like your gravy, you might want to mix a little cornstarch in cold water and add it to the pan at the very end of the process. If so, be sure to bring the dish back up to a low boil so that the gravy will thicken.
Serve over cooked white rice and enjoy!
The ideal side dishes for this are green beans and new potatoes, fresh home-grown tomatoes and/or corn maque choux, but in a pinch a simple sald or a store-bought vegetable will do ;)
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