This is the last recipe in our SEC Tailgating Series, and let me tell ya', it is a yummy one. When I was thinking of recipe ideas to pay respect to the LSU Tigers, the first thing that jumped out was a spicy Cajun Jambalaya. Of course, we have given it a few of our own tweaks, but this bold and tasty jambalaya is worthy of a trip to Death Valley for an LSU Tailgate. Made with savory venison andouille sausage, tender rice and classic Cajun veggies.
SEC Tailgate Special : Louisiana State University
Football season is our FAVORITE time of year. We love the weather, the crowds, the crazy football action, and of course, the food! We have created a tailgate recipe for every team in the South Eastern Conference.
Our goal: to capture the spirit of each school’s team and make a fun and delicious recipe using local flavor and flair. So we put our football differences aside, and researched every school.
If you have ever been to an SEC Tailgate, you know that food is the only thing that brings opposing fans together. (Besides the fact that we all want to beat Alabama.)
If you don’t follow college football or aren’t a fan of the SEC…that’s totally ok. The SEC Tailgate recipes are still awesome for your next party. Or a Tuesday. (We won’t judge.)
Death Valley Cajun Jambalaya | LSU Tailgate
Playing SEC football in LSU's Tiger Stadium (aka "Death Valley") is one of the scariest games on the schedule. First of all, just think about 92,000+ ragin' Cajun football fans after a day of tailgating. Uh...yeah.
But I guarantee if you make a pot of this Cajun Jambalaya on gameday, you'll have nothing to fear besides running out. (Double batch is highly recommended.) And I have a TINY little secret. I'm a Vols fan, through and through, and I know you aren't supposed to like ANY other teams in the SEC. It is borderline sacrilegious to have a soft spot for another team. But LSU has always been my back up. My second favorite; my West team. So there ya have it. I like LSU.
So where did I get my hands on venison andouille sausage? Oh, I've got my sources. The blend of lean, smoky venison with spices and pork is a fitting addition to our take on the classic jambalaya. We also stuck to the basic "holy trinity" of Louisiana cuisine: celery, onions and bell peppers. To give our recipe a kick of school spirit, we picked bright, gold bell peppers.
TIP: To get great flavor, leave the celery leaves on. Throw them right in the pot when cooking.
In a stock pot or dutch oven, first brown sliced andouille sausage in oil. Then add the vegetables and cook and stir until they are crisp-tender. I like to stir in half of my Cajun seasoning now so it locks in that Louisiana flavor with the sausage and vegetables. If you are looking for a GREAT go-to seasoning, I love SoLa Seasoning.
Get the complete list of ingredients and recipe at the bottom of this post.
Another way to get great flavor is to add the rice in and let it toast and cook in the pot for a few minutes BEFORE you add in the liquid. Cajun cooking isn't fancy. It is all about the flavor and time and love you put into it. And there's a lot of love going into this Cajun Jambalaya.
Love and...well, beer. In addition to chicken stock, we are adding a full beer right into the pot. This is perfect if you are cooking AT the tailgate, because pretty sure they don't allow plain water at a Tigers tailgate party in Baton Rouge.
Once you have added the chicken stock, beer, hot sauce and other seasonings, time to let it simmer. Just cover and cook until the rice is tender.
More recipes from our SEC Tailgate Special:
Big Al's Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Gosh Almighty Pimento Cheese BLT's
12th Man Texas Tailgate Chili
The secret to great jambalaya? Don't overthink it. Let the rice cook until it is that perfect jambalaya consistency. It is hard to describe, but you don't want it to be too wet but not too sticky. My advice is to keep an eye on the heat, keep the lid on, and leave it alone.
Serve this Death Valley Cajun Jambalaya with fresh chopped green onions and more hot sauce and seasoning. So good, so filling, and perfect for a day of college football.
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Death Valley Cajun Jambalaya
- 1 ½ pounds venison andouille sausage sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend
- 1 ½ cups long grain rice uncooked
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12 ounces beer
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper more to taste
- green onions chopped, for optional garnish
- Heat oil in a stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook the sliced andouille until browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add the chopped peppers, onion, celery and garlic to the pot. Sprinkle half of the Cajun seasoning over the top. Stir and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are crisp tender, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the uncooked rice. Combine with the sausage and vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the chicken stock, beer, hot sauce, bay leaves, remaining Cajun seasoning, and cayenne. Stir to combine well.
- Increase heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Keep an eye on the heat, and do not remove the lid while simmering. The jambalaya is done when the rice is tender and the mixture is very slightly sticky.
- If there is too much liquid in the pot at the end of cooking time, remove the lid, increase heat slightly and cook until liquid is gone.
- Serve in bowls with fresh chopped green onions, additional hot sauce and seasoning.
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