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Cajun Pot Roast

This is another recipe from Justin Wilson. It’s prepared in a Reynolds oven bag. You can buy any size chuck roast that you like. My husband and I are still empty-nesting so the pictures illustrate a very small 2-lb roast, with a couple potatoes, handful of carrots and mushrooms. For such a small dinner you may use a large oven bag, but if your roast and all the fixins added up to 8 or more pounds, then you’d want to use a turkey-size bag. Justin Wilson’s recipes often call for wine. I used red wine (Beaujolais) today because it was what I had on hand. I’ve made this recipe for many years and it’s the first time I used red wine instead of white. Turned out just fine, very tasty.

According to the oven bag directions, add 2 Tbsp. flour to the bag and shake it around.

Cut slits in each side of the roast

and stuff the slits with pieces of green onion and sliced garlic.

Lightly sprinkle the roast with cayenne (red pepper).

Place roast into the bag.

Inside the bag, beside and atop the roast, add potatoes, carrots, and whole mushrooms (enough for the number of people you will serve).

Stir 2 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce into 1 cup white wine and pour it into the bag. Seal the bag with the enclosed tie. Cut about a dozen small slits in the top of the bag to let off steam. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours.

Remove the roast

and vegetables from the bag to a platter.

Make gravy by pouring the juice out of the bag into a saucepan. Add beef broth until the amount seems enough and salt to taste. Stir cornstarch into cold broth or water and stir until dissolved. Bring gravy juices to a boil in the saucepan and then stir in the cornstarch-broth mixture until gravy is thickened.

I like to mash my serving of potato and cover with gravy. Horseradish sauce is a great condiment for the pot roast . . . or more gravy. It’s all good!

What you’ll need for Cajun Pot Roast

Reynolds oven bag, either large or turkey size

2 Tbsp. flour

Beef chuck roast

2 green onions (scallions)

1 garlic clove, sliced

Cayenne (red) pepper

Pototoes

Carrots

Whole mushrooms

1 cup white wine (Sauterne)

2 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce

Beef broth (for gravy)

Cornstarch mixed with a little beef broth or water (to thicken gravy)

Gizzard Gumbo

This recipe is based on one from Justin Wilson, a Cajun cook who used to appear on TV. It’s simple and very rich. This is a dish I don’t serve to guests. Most people don’t really know gizzards and it seems like a dirty trick to invite someone to dinner and then serve them food they may not want to venture. The idea of having guests is to serve, not force your own ideas of great food. Imagine my surprise tonight to wander upstairs to the kitchen for a second helping and find my daughter and her new friend slurping down the gizzard gumbo. I didn’t even know anyone was here. I may have to rethink my position on the whole gizzards and guests idea.

Start by making a roux of 10 Tbsp. butter, melted and 10 Tbsp. flour, stirred into the butter. Roux is the basis for many sauces. Butter provides a way to disburse flour as a thickener into a liquid so that it’s not lumpy.

Simmer the roux over low heat, stirring very frequently, until it is a rich brown color.

Add 1 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped parsley. In Cajun cooking they call the onion, pepper, and celery combination the holy trinity. It’s the Cajun version of mirepoix.

Let it saute for a while.

Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup cold water and 2 cups white wine. Place back over heat and add 2 cups water. Stir well.

Add 1 cup chopped chicken gizzards.

Try to get your hands on real Anduille sausage (a Louisiana spicy link sausage).

Add 1 lb. sliced Anduille.

Stir in 1 tsp. hot sauce (like Tabasco) and 2 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce. Add about a tsp of salt. Let simmer, uncovered, for about an hour. Check the salt before serving.

File powder is ground sassafras. This is not a necessary component to the dish, but it surely makes it authentic.

Sprinkle file powder in the bottom of your bowl.

Add some rice to your bowl. I love jasmine rice and use it for everything. Regular white rice is fine.

Spoon the gumbo over the rice and stir to mix everything together in your bowl. Enjoy.

Gizzard Gumbo

Ingredients for Gizzard Gumbo

10 Tbsp. butter

10 Tbsp. flour

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 cups white wine

3 cups water

1 lb. chicken gizzards

1 lb. Anduille sausage (or other Polish style sausage)

1 tsp. hot sauce (Tabasco)

2 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce

Salt to taste

File powder, optional

Prepared rice (stir 1 cup rice into 2 cups boiling liquid and let simmer, covered, on low heat for exactly 25 minutes–don’t peek, don’t stir, just let it simmer with the cover on for exactly 25 minutes)