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It’s been almost 7 years since my wife and I wandered the streets of New Orleans, but I can still taste the duck from Emeril’s, the muffalettas from Cochon Butcher, and the funky po boys from Killer Po Boys in the back of the Erin Rose Café. As we traveled from the usual tourist spots to the off-the-wall locations and feasted on everything from beignets to oysters to gumbo, there was one thing my wife requested at almost every spot: red beans and rice. This is my unconventional take on this southern dish using braised venison neck meat, smoked venison shanks, and one of my favorite Cajun spices Tacticalories Dirty South. To make the smoked shanks, check out Danielle Prewett’s incredible recipe for smoked venison ham hocks at meateater.com.
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Time to Make:
1 venison neck roast
1 brined/smoked venison shank
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into slices
Tacticalories Dirty South
Favorite blackening seasoning
1 lb dried red beans
Bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup flour
2 quarts venison or beef stock
1 bottle brown ale
4 bay leaves
Salt/pepper to taste
Long grain rice
Favorite hot sauce
1. Rinse the dried red beans and place them in a large bowl and cover with cool water by an inch and allow them to soak overnight.
2. Liberally coat neck roast in olive oil, Tacticalories Dirty South and your favorite blackening seasoning.
3. Start your pellet grill and set it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the roast comes to room temperature, place it on the smoker for 3-4 hours.
4. Remove the roast, crank your smoker to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the meat in a cast iron pot back on the smoker.
5. Pour the dark beer and 1-2 cups beef broth into the pot, covering the roast about halfway. Cover the pot and continue cooking for an additional 3 hours or so until the meat falls off the spine, adding additional stock as needed.
6. Allow meat to cool slightly and then remove meat from the bone and shred or chop.
7. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add cooking oil, peppers, and celery.
8. Cook for several minutes before adding garlic, shallots, and sliced andouille sausage. Once shallots become translucent, add a quart of stock, the drained red beans, smoked shank, neck meat, and bay leaves and simmer for 2 hours. Be sure to occasionally mix to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
9. After an hour or so, make a medium roux by heating a saucepan over medium heat and adding the 1/3 cup of oil.
10. Slowly add the flour and continue mixing with a wooden spoon. Do not let the flour burn and continue to carefully mix the roux until it achieves a light brown color slightly darker than peanut butter.
11. Remove the roux from the burner and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Once the roux has cooled slightly, add ½ cup of stock and whisk until everything is blended and add the roux to the beans.
12. Remove the shank bone, pull any remaining meat from the bone and add it back to the beans. Season with salt, pepper, and additional Dirty South as needed.
13. Simmer until it thickens to the consistency of a creamy gravy and serve with hot rice, your favorite hot sauce, and of course, a cold lager.