Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Recipe for Piracy

Buffalo Pot Roast, Old Creole Style

Daube de Bison a la Creole Vieux


• American Natural Bison (from the Round, Loin or other suitable cut from the butcher) – or substitute Natural Beef (Daube de Boeuf a la Creole Vieux)
• Fruity Olive Oil
• Garlic
• Sweet Onions
• Ripe Tomatoes
• Orange Peel (reserve fruit for later use)
• Tomato Paste, canned (for color)
• Fresh Thyme
• Fresh Bay Leaf
• Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley Stems (reserve leaves for garnish)
• Fresh Chives (strictly for garnish)
• Saffron Pinch
• Natural Sea or Kosher Salt
• Cracked White & Black Peppercorns
• Cayenne or Creole Seasoning (recommended, but optional, to taste)


• Remove silverskin and superfluous fat from Bison
• Rough Chop Onions & Tomatos (use plenty – the amount is determined by the amount of gravy you want)
• Smash a few cloves of Garlic
• Remove the Orange Peel from its fruit (think about the amount of orange flavor a la Basquaise you want)
• Season the Bison & brown in brazier with Olive Oil
• Combine all other ingredients in brazier until sautéed lightly
• Season to taste
• Braise in 350 degree oven until done – about 1 hour
• Remove Bison from brazier to rest on the carving board
• Remove Bay Leaf, Thyme, Parsley Stems and Orange Peel
• Puree vegetables and juices to light, airy gravy consistency (wavy gravy?)
• Adjust seasonings and color to taste
• Serve it up with Garlic Riced Potatos, and Mom’s Creole Succotash seasoned with Ham Bone Marrow & Secret Spice Mixture (or substitute commercial ham paste/base)


Select big ol’ low slung but wide-mouthed salad or soup bowls. Spoon the spuds and smear all around the bottom of the bowls, higher in the very center. Slice 3 fat slices of Pot Roast & arrange in center on top. Slap ¾ cup of gravy over the meat. Arrange the Succotash in a ring between the edge of the bowls and the meat and gravy in the center. Garnish with fresh Thyme, Parsley, Chive, Bay Leaf and reserved Orange fruit sections. Serve with a gravy boat of hot gravy, a starched white linen napkin, and a trencherman’s dinner fork.

Heat up a crusty ol' peasant loaf, and bring it forth with soft butter or gussied-up olive oil in little ramekins set in front of the bowls. A butter lettuce salad with bell peppers, tomatos and green onions a la vinaigrette should do nicely – afterwards of the Pot Roast.

Now whip it on ‘em with a few glasses of cold Beer or Pinot Noir. Play some saloon music from Old New Orleans or have an old Jean Lafitte pirate movie showing on the big screen… like The Buccaneer... and finish ‘em off with some Lady Finger cookies and Blancmange puddin’ with shots of Absinthe for dessert.

Card-playing would seem to be in order – gamble if you must – you know Lafitte sure as hell did!

Bring on some dancin’ girls for a little more flavor, unless you’re with the little lady. If this be the case, consider headin’ on in to town, and drop her off at home.

Better still; don’t bring her along in the first place – unless she likes to get a little silly, that is!

Lafitte himself was the product of a Spanish mother and a French father, and as such, was not really that bad a guy.

The Louisiana Territory was claimed by the Spaniards, the French and the Americans at different times in its history; but Lafitte himself leveraged so-called Letters of Marque on the high seas to legitimate his activities as a privateer – not a lowly pirate!

He is said to have aided the Americans in their War of 1812 against the British. As a citizen of the world he merely acted in his own interest, by leveraging a little paperwork received from nations’ governments – all with similar interests to his own.

While some viewed him as a pirate, others viewed him as a private citizen authorized to do some necessary dirty work. And if conflicts of interest arose, or if he ever stepped on anybody’s toes... well, let’s just say he was never available to receive a court summons anyway!

He actually founded two of his own nation-states during his lifetime – unencumbered and beholden only to himself.

My recipe was created in honor of this colorful character, and you’ll delight in fixin’ this easy-to-prepare sup for your own family or guests.

For our special occasion, why not read up on the guy – and now you can be Lafitte for the day – okay?

Best served in the late summer-early fall... when it’s cold, muggy or rainy outside. Change up the veggies for somethin’ more in season... and it works in the dead of winter too.