For countless years, no hog butchery was complete without cooking that fresh pork backbone in a thick fricasse’/stew. With the added ingredients of that delicious boudin & crackling for all participants that came out to help & have family unity for the day. In modern terms, the backbone split in half is pork chops, but everyone knows that thick bone makes that thick delicious gravy. Learn how I prepare Pork Backbone stew or fricasse’, as we like to call it, here in South Louisiana.
- 6-8, 1.25” (3cm) thick seasoned pork backbone. (Unless you have a favourite butcher, this may be hard to find, you can replace it with pork sirloin chops, same thickness).
- 2 large diced onions
- 2 large diced bell peppers
- 2 cloves diced garlic
- 1 bunch diced onion tops
- 1 bunch diced parsley
- 1/4 of a pint of dark roux (a mixture of equal quantities of melted butter and flour that is cooked in a pan and used as the base for thickening sauces. You can substitute for roux by adding a mixture of water and wheat flour to a dish)
- Large pot of cooked white rice, your choice of medium or long grain
- In a large pot, heat 1/2 cup (120ml) of cooking oil very hot to sear backbone chops.
- Sear each backbone chop well on both sides, removing from pot when seared.
- After you have seared all chops, sauté onions, bell peppers & garlic, until caramelized.
- Add 1 cup (250ml) of water & start stirring pot to mix seasonings until water comes to heavy boil.
- Once water has started boiling well, add 1/4 (120ml) pint of roux & mix well until roux is completely mixed into water.
- Drop fire to medium low &’cook roux approximately 45min, you may have to add a little water at times when gravy cooks down.
- After cooking roux for 45min, add all meat & cook on medium fire, juices will cook out of meat but check every 10min to see if any water needs to be added. Add as desired but keep gravy thick.
- I like to add about 1 ounce (30g) of black pepper to enhance stew gravy. This is totally optional.
- Cook everything until meat starts to get real tender & separating from bone. Cut fire off at this point due to meat still cooking after fire turned off. You don’t want a pot of separated meat all broken up.
- When fire turned off, add onion tops & parsley, stir well into pot then keep covered with lid at least 20min before serving.
At this point, stand back because when your eaters get into this gravy, their appetite will not be something to take lightly, it will be just delicious, the gravy will be thick as synthetic motor oil!