Spanish Rice Casserole

I was at a potluck with a few members of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Writers Circle the other night and I brought a casserole I’m quite fond of. A couple of members wanted the recipe so here is a) the easy version, b) the notes, and c) the version as served.

The basic version is dead easy.

Brown 3/4 to 1 pound pork sausage.
Fry to golden 1 medium to large yellow onion.
Add crushed clove of garlic one minute before removing from heat.
When onions are done stir in one half cup rice.
Add all of the above to a casserole dish after cutting sausage into bite size pieces.
Deglaze the frying pan with a cup of beer.
Add beer to casserole dish.
Add one cup chicken broth or home made stock to dish.
Add one or two bay leaves.
Cover and bake about an hour, 300 degree oven.
Remove from oven and stir in one 14 oz. can diced or pureed tomato
Add a pinch of crumbled saffron threads, and another pinch of thyme.
Return uncovered to 350 degree oven until no fluid remains in bottom of dish.
Remove from oven and stir in one cup shredded parmesan cheese.
Serve.

Notes

1. I usually use breakfast pork sausages. Chorizo, spicier sausages are also a good choice.
2. I usually use brown rice which adds considerably to the cooking time. You can reduce cooking time by not stirring the rice in the frying onions.
3. I use whatever beer is handy up to and including Lab Light (Gasp!). It tastes best with either a dark ale or a very sharp pilsner. (E.G. Pilsner Urquell)
4. I use either home made stock or a cup of Campbells or some other commercial chicken broth.
5. When in a rush, I brown the sausages and onions seperately (different heat settings) dump ALL of the ingredients into a casserole dish and bake at 350, about 1.5 hrs., until no visible fluid on the bottom of the dish. This is VERY EASY and quite tasty.
6. I hand grate parmesan reggiano and a cup is only about 50 to 60 grams. Commercially pregrated cheese is denser and much saltier. If you use commercial product I would add NO salt until ready to serve, and taste it first.

As Served

375 g. Johnsonville Pork breakfast sausages
1/2 cup wild rice
2 and 1/2 yellow onions (using up onions in fridge)
1 clove garlic
1 cup home made stock
1 cup Best Bitter (Northhampton Brewing, NB)
1 pinch saffron (crumbled between thumb and forefinger)… I forgot the thyme
3 tiny bay leaves
1 can 398 Ml. Unico Pezzetoni tomatoes diced
The rind of a wedge of parmesan, grated (The old dry stuff tastes great when warmed)
I added salt and pepper to taste when done.
I cooked it about 2 hrs at 300 and one hour at 375. Wild rice is a bit unpredictable in casseroles I find.

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2 Responses to Spanish Rice Casserole

  1. alan ryan says:

    I’ve printed off the recipe. Sounds like my kind of casserole. Thanks.
    On another topic, I found out that the LCBO have delisted the only amontillado sherry there was in the province. Now there is only the fino and lots of sweet things — nothing in-between. Any ideas on why this happened or what I might do to get them to reverse their decision?
    Alan

  2. james says:

    The same thing has happened out west. For the life of me I can’t figure it out. I’d also suggest contacting Decanter Wine & Spirits and ask them why. (And maybe tell them to push on their supplier.)

    ps. you may want to reprint the recipe. I left the can of tomatoes (398 ml unico pezzetoni) off the “as served” version. It’s fixed now.

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