I don't categorize my posts (what few there are) anymore, but if I did this one would go under 'preservation' or 'history'. There are a few childhood favorite dishes that I shall never get to savor again because they were prepared by an older aunt, grandma, or other who is no longer with us... no real recipe was ever written or left behind, and although duplicated that original flavor is lost forever. One such dish that I've always loved is my Aunt LouAnn's spaghetti. This is a true cajun dish. Yes, I know it sounds like a bastardation of Italian food, but I personally feel that cajun food is the most bastardized cuisine in the USA so it's all good. Besides, a real cajun spaghetti sauce has more in common with a French espagnol than an Italian marinara. A web search of 'cajun spaghetti' yields only hits of typical spaghetti dishes with shrimp or sausage thrown in or maybe incorporates 'cajun seasoning' (which is exactly what anyway? like there was a ubiquitous 'latin seasoning' or 'oriental seasoning' that could be added to virtually anything and qualify it as a dish of that cuisine.) Enough of my boring ranting.
Lou-Ann's sauce in all of it's glorious rusticity
This version of spaghetti consists of slow-cooked medium spaghetti and a red sauce with ground beef, fresh pork sausage, and chicken wings. The sauce begins with a dark roux*. For a large batch, melt 1 cup of lard and stir in 7/8 cups of flour. Stir consistently over medium low heat.
*Traditional rouxs are generally tighter and are more of a 1:1 ratio, but most dark rouxs used in cajun cuisine are thinner. You should be able to stir it quite easily throughout all of it's stages. True, there is excess oil (or lard), but that just helps with cooking the vegetables once added. Dark roux is used for flavor even moreso than for it's hindered thickening power. While on the subject, true gumbo is a very thin liquid... not the overly thickened goop served in most tourist traps. Does it make sense that a traditional dish from an area as hot as south Louisiana would be so disturbingly viscous?
I took this picture in the blinding midday sun, so get it a good shade browner than this shot actually reveals.
The 3 meat components: 3.5# ground chuck, 2.25# fresh green onion sausage*, and 2.5# chicken wings (she uses only drummettes, but I got to throw the back wings in) are all cooked ahead of time. The beef cooked and crumbled stovetop with salt only then drained. The sausage stovetop slowly and covered then sliced. The wings seasoned with salt, red and white pepper then slow roasted until done.
*I've never really had a sausage anywhere else but south LA that had this particular sausage. It's typically referred to as 'butcher sausage,' but any green onion variety fresh sausage can substitute. Don't use Italian or other regionally flavored sausages.
The holy trinity: There's dark roux... the next step must be the Holy Trinity (onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic). Yeah, I know that's 4 ingredients and a trinity is 3. 'Trinity' alone is the first 3 ingredients. 'Holy Trinity' is when you add the garlic. I didn't add it up, that's just what they call it. Dice 1 medium yellow onion, 1 green bell pepper, 3 ribs of celery. Slice about 12 cloves of garlic.
Back to the cooking... once the roux is the color above, add in the holy trinity and cook and stir until it's cooked through translucent. Add in the ground beef and sliced sausage and cook and stir until it is hot. Add 6 each 15oz cans of plain tomato sauce (that's 11 1/4 cups). Add in about 2 1/2 cups of water also. For this I used water to deglaze my chicken and sausage pans after cooking.
Season with white and red pepper. Let simmer slowly about an hour. Add chicken wings and cook another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over slow-cooked spaghetti. Devilled eggs on the side.
I've realized after writing this that I've posted this subject before (brain fart). Actually interesting that I originally debated its post-worthiness, and here I am posting it twice. Anyway, the recipe is much more exact this time... although still with a certain vagueness.