Everybody loves beer. Rice gets mixed reviews, but rice cooked in beer is delicious. Throw in some sausage and everyone's happy ... except for vegetarians, who are more than welcome to help themselves to the guacamole.
Cooking your rice with beer involves an extra, easy step or two. Carbonation from the beer can create a mushy grain, but the fix is simple. Use long grain brown rice, instead of white, and deflate beer bubbles with a pinch of salt. Cajun seasoning is up for interpretation, try a old-school favorite like Tony Chachere's or create your own. Be cautious with pre-made blends containing salt, and always taste before adding extra.
Step 1 - Gather ingredients
Little Smokies - approximately 16 oz.
3 cups long grain brown rice
4 c. beer, preferably a lager (avoid heavier stouts and excessive hops)
¾ cup chicken stock, or water, or more beer
2 T. butter
Sea salt to taste
1 quart chopped veggies - equal amounts of celery, onion, bell pepper
1 T. + chopped garlic
1 T. + cajun seasoning
15 oz can stewed tomatoes
Fresh parsley - chopped
Ground white pepper
Step 2 - Bake Rice
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the rice in a heavy baking dish and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Measure beer plus water or stock, and place it in a small pot. Add a generous pinch of salt. Wait until all carbonation subsides, then heat to a simmer. Immediately pour the beer over the rice. Cover it with a heavy lid or double layer of foil, and place it in oven and bake for 60 minutes, until the grain absorbs all liquid.
Step 3 - Prepare Little Smokie Sauce
Place a large saute pan over medium/medium-high heat. Add butter and then the little smokies. Cook until they start to brown, then add the vegetables. Cook until the veggies start to soften, then add cajun seasoning. Cook for a few minutes, then add stewed tomatoes. Once mixture starts to simmer, cover it, and turn heat to low. Simmer gently for at least 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding sea salt and white pepper if needed.
Step 4 - Wrap it up and Serve
Once rice is finished baking, remove from the oven and fluff grains with a fork. Pour little smokie sauce over rice, then garnish with fresh parsley. Serve and enjoy.