Well we are officially getting into fall and just between you and I it is my favorite cooking season! I get to fatten up for the winter and make all my favorite carb heavy meals like pizza, pasta and casseroles. This is technically a side although it makes great eating on its own. It is heavy so I recommend it with lighter mains like a steak or chicken grilled dish, it would be great with my healthy grilling recipe – steak with tomato salsa! If you like spicy food this is a great side to cut the heat. Bacon, bacon, bacon, we love the swine in my house so if you love it too don’t skimp. Get some nice bacon from your local butcher or the better quality stuff from the supermarket, I’ve made this with the cheap stuff but it’s not the same. I used Carolina gold rice and there’s a video about it below, however, it is hard to find outside of specialty stores so go ahead and use any decent long grain rice you can get your hands on. Just not the microwave stuff, you’re better than that! This makes quite a bit so if you can halve this recipe if you want but it keeps in the fridge for a week or so and reheats beautifully.
Equipment You Will Need
As always your trusty chef’s knife and a cutting board and a heavy pot of at least 4 quart size, not too crazy!
- 1 1/2 pound piece of bacon or the equivalent sliced, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cups of chopped yellow onion
- 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (smoked if you can get it)
- 4 cups chicken stock/broth
- 1/2 cup tomato juice
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt/pepper to taste
Again if you can get Carolina gold rice that is great but not necessary. The celery leaves are a garnish but you have to buy celery anyway so get some with leaves on it! I have given this a little extra kick with Tabasco but don’t overdo it!
Heat up your pot and add the bacon, we want to render out some of the fat over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook for another 7-10 minutes until softened. Stir in the mustard, cayenne, and paprika then add the stock/broth and tomato juice. Bring everything to a boil then add the rice and simmer uncovered until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice texture is to your liking about 20-30 minutes. The rice should be a little wet however so don’t cook it too long. When the texture is right add the celery leaves, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Adjust your seasonings and let stand for 5 minutes, stir again and serve!
Not too much to add on this one, slap it alongside your entree or if you’re fancy have it in separate bowl. It’s great by itself with some bread too!
Post Prandial Thoughts
This dish is a great way for a really nice piece of bacon to shine, it’s warm and comforting and kids love it. It’s not really a casserole but it’s so hearty and rich that it feels like one, so great for the chillier weather! As always, if you have any questions or thoughts let me know in the comments, enjoy!