Ham. Oh, ham. I knew I’d have a love affair with the pig when growing up we had it at all major holidays. I’ve eaten more than my fair share of half-hog barbecue (vinegar-based) at Thanksgiving and Christmas while a bone-in shank portion of ham was reserved for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, etc. Just the mention of any perfectly prepared portion of pork makes my mouth water for my grandmother’s brown rice.
This isn’t the actual whole-grain brown rice that you find in the bulk bin at Whole Foods. This is long-grain white rice baked in a casserole with consomme and seasonings to appear brown. I guess it might be more appropriate to call it Baked Rice. Sometimes I get wild and use actual brown rice and make it browner. You must use consomme, not broth or beef stock–the addition of the tomato flavoring in the consomme makes for a very buttery mouth feel.
Southern Style “Brown Rice”
by Jason Osborne
1.5 cups long-grain rice*
1 can beef consomme
1 can french onion soup
several pats butter
Wash rice in a fine colander until the water runs clear. Combine rice, consomme and soup in a casserole dish and dot with pats of butter. Cover the dish (it’s best if you have a lidded one) and bake at 400 for an hour or until the rice is done. Additional seasoning can be added if desired before serving. Temperature can be adjusted if you are baking several things in the oven–it will add or decrease from the cooking time.
* Using white rice will result in a fluffy, soft texture. Using brown rice will create a wetter, crunchier texture and will take more liquid and more time to bake. Jasmine or Basmati rices work well in this dish.