This is Cajun food at its simplest. You've probably never heard of this dish, nor are you likely to see it on a menu or in a cookbook. However, as Cajun cook and food writer Marcelle Bienvenu said, it's almost certain that if you asked any native of southwest Louisiana "who lives along Bayou Lafourche or Bayou Têche or on the prairies near Ville Platte or Crowley about this dish, he would confess that round steak in gravy is one of his favorites."

Cut the steak into 3/4" squares, and season well with salt and cayenne pepper. In a deep iron pot, put enough cooking oil just to cover the bottom and get the oil fairly hot. Add the meat and brown it well, almost to the point where you worry you may burn it. You can sprinkle a little sugar in the pot as well, to help the meat turn a nice shade of brown.

Add the stock or water, and scrape up all the little brown bits that stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the onions and peppers, reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 1 hour until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally, and add a little more stock or water if you want more gravy.

To serve, spoon the steak and gravy over white rice, and serve maque choux on the side.


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Chuck Taggart   email chuck (at) gumbopages (dot) com