I’m a sucker for Jambalaya. It’s one of those dishes that from afar looks rather daunting to make but in reality is incredibly easy. Plus there are so many ways to make it!
My first experience with Jambalaya was a traditional Creole version and wow did it kick my rump in the heat department. My lips were burning for days. But it was well worth it. From then on, I gravitated towards traditional but less heat-intense variations of this dish.
Over the past couple of years I have really began experimenting with Jambalaya and the results have all been rather amazing. This dish is so versatile and forgiving if you are missing an ingredient or two and need to make a quick substitute.
My versions of Jambalaya have included chicken, shrimp, sausage, bacon, lobster, crawfish, mussels, alligator, turkey, white fish, and prawns. Sometimes my Jambalaya is smokey. Sometimes it is spicy. Sometimes it is more savory and subtle in its spices. But whatever the case, it is delicious.
Recently, I received a really impressive car package on my doorstep from D'Artagnan Foods. (Hang on – I will tell you about them in a second). I arrived home late one night, saw this box with a big sign that said “Perishable,” and squealed with delight because I love me some free food!
When I opened it up I saw THREE PACKS OF BACON. Bacon people. For me. Two were pork bacon and one was…wait for it…DUCK BACON. Seriously. Duck bacon.
In addition to the wondrous pot of bacon gold, I discovered a Wild Boar Mini Roast, Wild Boar Sausage, and French Kisses which are basically plump prunes crammed with a sweet mousse of foie gras. I might have come *this* close to passing out with excitement.
I knew exactly what I was going to do with my treasure trove. First stop
Wild Boar Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya!
This recipe is really easy to make. Don’t let the number of steps fool you. And also don’t sweat it if you can’t get your hands on some D’Artagnan Wild Boar Sausage. Any sausage or kielbasa will work as a substitute.
Wild Boar Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya
Yield 4 servings
An easy to make, incredibly delicious Jambalaya that will have you making more!
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 1 pound Wild Boar Sausage, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 pound smoked ham, cubed
- 1 tablespoon lard
- 1 large onion, diced (I prefer yellow onion in this recipe)
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced (choose your favorite color or mix a couple together)
- 1 cup diced tomato (fresh is great but I did cheat and used organic canned diced tomatoes, unsalted)
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (feel free to add more if you like heat)
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 6 cups stock (vegetable, chicken or pork stock are all fine. Avoid beef stock).
- 3 cups rinsed long-grain rice
- 3 bay leaves
- Sea salt to taste – I keep it at about 6 grinds from my salt grinder
- 1 teaspoon black or white pepper – freshly ground is always better
- Hot sauce to taste – I usually add in about 4-6 dashes of my favorite hot sauce. There is no right or wrong brand of hot sauce here. It is all about your personal taste. To keep the heat out of this Jambalaya, exclude the hot sauce all together.
- 1/2 cup scallions or leaks, chopped and divided
- 3/4 cups fresh parsley, chopped and divided
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 pound medium shrimp – fresh is best but frozen is fine too. Just defrost and rinse them first.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the Wild Boar Sausage and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned.
- Remove the sausage from the pot and place in a bowl. Let those bad babies hang out for a bit on the counter.
- Add the ham to the same pot and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Remove from the pot and add to the Wild Board Sausage bowl because at this point, the sausage is lonely and looking for some friends.
- Add the lard, onion, celery and peppers to the same pot and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes. You are looking for the onion to turn translucent.
- Stir in the diced tomato, garlic, cayenne, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until everything is blended well.
- Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Keep an eye on this! You want to catch it right as it starts the rolling boil.
- Stir in the rice then and add the sausage, ham, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce if using.
- Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or therabouts.
- Add 1/4 cup of the scallions or leaks, 1/4 cup of the parsley, the lemon juice and the shrimp, and stir well.
- Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya to sit for 15 minutes. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! This cooks the shrimp.
- Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions/leaks and 1/2 cup parsley, and more hot sauce if you can take the heat.