New Orleans Backbone Stew is a Louisiana style stew prepared with pork bones specifically back bones slowly cooked in with onions, celery, capsicum/bell pepper and garlic together with dark roux.
I think I have been watching a lot of old series of Anthony BourdainsNo Reservations, I listed a lot of dishes in there that I soon would either try or cook, the list is growing now but I manage to made some of it already. His love for pork is similar to my affection to it, hence most of the ones he tried that I also tried became one of my favourite dishes. Honestly, I love his job, he just travels a lot, eats a lot and sometimes cook great food, who would not like that, while me I am here in my computer writing this blog after preparing the dish, then on the next day I will be locked in the office for 8 hours and be a slave of my daytime job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, it is so flexible, great work life balance, it pays well, we eat a lot too, drink a lot as well, we travel a lot, my colleagues are considered to be some of my close friends, but Anthony’s job I guess is better (at least for me).
One of the last episodes that I watched was when he was in New Orleans when he shot a pig on the head with a gun, while I will have a hard time doing what he did, I will enjoy everything that came after the butchering part. This episode was a meat fest using every part of the pig as much as possible which brings us to our post today. New Orleans Backbone Stew was one of the dishes they made during that episode, where the back bones and if I can remember they also added some pork trotters is prepared into a nice rich dark stew. It was cooked for almost the whole day until the meat is really tender it falls out of the bone; the whole day was just for preparation and at the end of the day they partake in a pork fest.
Today I am making that same dish, while I am not killing a whole pig, I did get some backbone, ribs and trotters at my favourite Asian butcher shop. I was not as exciting but I guess the result was close, it was a really nice rich stew.
Prepare the dark roux, in a dry heavy sauce pan toast the flour in low heat, once it turns brown gently add the oil. Continue mixing until mixture is thick. Set it aside.
In a large soup pot add the bacon then let it crisp up in low heat, remove the bacon then set it aside.
Add the backbones, ribs and pork legs brown it on all sides. Remove from pot then set it aside.
Add the onions, garlic, celery, capsicum and parsley, cook in medium heat until the vegetable sweat. Add the roux and stock bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the bacon back together with the backbones, ribs and pork legs. Drop in the paprika, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring back to a boil then simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until pork is fork tender. Check every 30 minutes if sauce becomes too thick, then add a bit of liquid. Try to scrape the bottom as well so meat does not stick and burn at the bottom part.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt if needed then serve.