Friday, October 4, 2013

Veggie Debris Po Boy

The original debris (pronounced: day-bree) po boy is beef that is braised so long that it falls apart with a "hard stare". That's Southern speak for really, really tender. Then the resulting meat and juices are piled onto a French roll with cabbage, pickle, mayo, Creole mustard, and tomato. It's a big, messy sandwich!

Legend has it that if you eat a debris po boy and the juices don't run down to your elbows, then it ain't done right. 

Our veggie version got the stamp of approval from two, count 'em, two, well-respected New Orleans natives. The base of this one is a canned product that has been popular in meatless cuisine for a while, but we'd never used it before. It's called 'young jackfruit in brine' and it's available in most Asian markets for about $1.50 a can. Right out of the can, jackfruit tastes like hearts of palm or artichoke hearts. The difference is the texture. Jackfruit, when cooked, is textured and stringy like cooked beef or BBQ pork. t's pretty remarkable stuff especially when flavored with red wine, porcini mushrooms, bay leaves, and garlic. 

Veggie Debris Po Boy

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion (thinly sliced)
2 medium ribs celery (thinly sliced)
2 medium carrots (thinly sliced)
6 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried, crumbled porcini
2 bay leaves

1 1/2 cups dry red wine
2 cups vegetable stock
2 20-ounce cans jackfruit in brine (drained)
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire
Hot sauce to taste

3 12-inch crispy French rolls (split)
Pickles, sliced tomatoes, mayonnaise, Creole mustard, and thinly sliced cabbage (to garnish)

In a stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook until nice and brown. This takes about 20 minutes with some occasional stirring, but it's worth it. The flavor gained from all those brown bits is amazing! 

Add the garlic, thyme, porcini, bay leaves, and red wine to the pot. Scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot, and cook until it looks dry, about 1o minutes. Add the stock, jackfruit, vinegar, tomato paste, and Worcestershire. Cover, reduce to low heat, and cook for 45 minutes. Gently mash with potato masher. Serve on several French rolls garnished with pickles, sliced tomatoes, mayonnaise, Creole mustard, and cabbage. Serves 6 to 8.