Time: 2-3 hrs
- About 3 lbs meat: Use pork or beef muscle cuts like neck, chuck, or beef shank
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp of darkening sauce, like Kitchen Bouquet
- 3 tbsp roux
- 3 tsp garlic
- green onions, for extra flavor
- 2 sweet yellow onions, chopped
- Seasoning mixture:
- 3 parts salt
- 2 parts onion powder
- 2 parts paprika, smoked
- 1 part cayenne
- 1/2 part black pepper
- Using a cast iron or thick-bottomed pot, add enough vegetable to just cover the bottom of the pot and heat.
2. Add the onions; be sure they are sizzling!
3. Add a light layer of the seasoning mixture and stir.
4. Brown the onions. The process: add a little bit of water, scrape the bottom of your pot (with a non-metal spatula), and once that water evaporates, let it sizzle for a minute. Then add a little more water, scrape, and repeat until your onions are soft and brown. This is probably going to take at least 30 minutes, but the flavor is worth it!
5. While the onions are browning, cut and season the meat. First cut out the bones (but keep them to use in the gravy), then cut the meat into uniform chunks and season to your liking.
6. Push the onions to one side of the pot and add the meat to the empty side. (Add the bones, too; they give flavor!)
7. Mix up the meat and onions, and let them simmer a bit.
8. Brown the meat, using the same process as browning the onions, until all the meat is browned.
9. Add the garlic and stir. Let this cook for 3 minutes.
10. Add the water that will make the gravy: put enough water to cover all the meat, and be sure to scrape everything from the bottom of the pot one more time.
11. Boil the water, then add the roux.
12. Start stirring to help the roux dissolve, then add the darkening sauce. Add some seasoning at this point, too.
13. Stir continuously until all the roux is dissolved.
14. Now turn the heat down to simmer, and leave it for about 30 minutes.
15. Add more water and let it simmer again. (The reason you add more water is to keep the meat covered so it can cook.) After it simmers for a while, taste for seasoning and add if needed.
16. You should cook the whole thing for at least an hour, but know that after adding your last batch of water, you’ll need to cook it for at least 20 more minutes to mellow it.
17. Once the taste is right for you, sprinkle in some green onions and serve over rice.
NOTES: When adding seasoning to the meat or the gravy, it’s a good idea to start out with light seasoning, then add more to taste as the dish cooks.