I hope everyone is having an excellent Christmas week. I know things are strange on many fronts and that most of us are trying to make the best of it all. Before we start talking food and feels, I just want to send you all some love and positive vibes. Many are thriving through the adversities we currently face as a collective, while many are barely hanging on. I acknowledge all of this, and I’m also aware of my own privilege and blessings. I’m so grateful for 2020 as it gave me time to deeply study myself. That’s been the greatest gift for me this year. Thankful to God and Gaia all day, every day because I know they are the source of my power. Not me.
It’s important that we remain humble, grateful and compassionate regardless of where we are today. I know it can be difficult. My heart goes out to all of you.
If you’re thriving, congrats!! I love that you can rise above hard times. It’s admirable, for sure. Keep it up!! Love you!!
If things are tough right now, please accept some light assistance from my heart to yours. Give yourself a huge hug from me. It’s going to be ok. Love you!!
With all that at the front of my mind and heavy on my heart this year, I really struggled with the food choices I would prepare for the holidays. I wanted simple food that was comforting and that took me to another place. I wanted New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. I was missing Bourbon St. and the French Quarter. I craved seafood, red beans and rice; and more than anything, I really wanted a beef Po’ Boy.
Yeah, that’s right. While some people were having visions of sugar-plums, the one dancing in my fat ass head was of those crusty French loaves filled with juicy, shredded roast beef.
I was also remembering a particular Christmas in NOLA when my girlfriend and myself wrapped gifts and filled the entire garage for two weeks straight. Stressing. Spending. Charging.
For two weeks after, we remained drunk and over worked, attempting to alleviate all that headache we’d acquired from trying to prove our love by going in debt. This isn’t the year for it. Not sorry.
What was finally decided this year was that we’d slow cook a beef roast to make the Po‘ Boys for Christmas Eve munching.
We did a smorgasbord of different shrimp and snacks for Christmas Day that weren’t too strenuous or time consuming. It was a totally chill holiday with silence, solitude and zero stress!! Honestly, I fucking loved it. It beat all the material shit money can buy.
A quiet, phone-free, voice-free, company-free few days were the best gift ever. You guys know part of my living practice is to find the beauty in everything!! It’s there. Even in this craziness, gratitude must reign supreme, bitches.
I looked over at the man today while writing this and asked a silly question.
“Am I wrong for being so happy we didn’t do the whole traditional Christmas this year??”
He gave the perfect answer of course, but it didn’t matter. That type of question is only to be answered from within.
I’m probably wrong in someone’s eyes because I don’t always give a shit about the shopping and wrapping and running and stressing.
Have we met?? I also don’t give a shit about what someone else sees when they decide to view me. Whatever. I am a gift. Fuck the rest.
I watch stress killing people every day. My job is to assist in alleviating stress. My life for the last year has been a little tense, just like everyone else’s. A little more so these past two months for me personally. We also just crossed over into a higher energetic plane. I had decided prior that I wasn’t taking any of the unnecessary stress with me into the new density/dimension.
What’s all that got to do with the recipe?? Simplicity. Economy. Nostalgia. Good taste. Time management. Mindful living. History. Humility.
For this recipe I seasoned and seared a chuck roast, inserted garlic cloves all through it, set it in the crock-pot with onions, beef broth, Greek peppers; and then I let it simmer for 24 hours. Mannnn, you should have smelled this place!!
Before I get to the what-you-need/what-you-do portion of this post, let me tell you where this little Christmas Eve gem was inspired from.
There are many places to get a Po’ Boy in NOLA and the surrounding parishes, and they all deserve a blog of their own. There is the fried oyster version from ACME Oyster House on Iberville. The blackened shrimp from Parran’s uptown. Those are just a couple of fond faves. You can get it “dressed” with mayo, lettuce, tomato, etc. You can get it undressed as well. Depends on the day for me.
Ultimately it was no struggle to decide who I was going to emulate. Parkway Bakery takes the cake!! Pun intended!! I loooveeee the roast beef and shrimp Po’ Boy, but again; I was keeping it humble. Lots of places do sliced roast beef, but I prefer the “debris” style they use at Parkway.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern has been jamming out baked goods since it opened in 1911. It sits on the corner of Hagan and Toulouse streets and was built by a baker named Charles Goering. He kept it going until 1922 when he sold it to a dude named Henry Timothy. I have to drop a note in regard to the “11 & 22” relations. I love power numbers and these are the most powerful.
In 1929, seven years after Timothy took over, the Po’ Boy became popular when Benny and Clovis Martin of Martin Bros Restaurant started giving the sandwiches away to feed the street-car union strikers.
Parkway expanded to start offering the Po’ Boy, not in competition, but to stand in solidarity to feed the “poor boys” who were all struggling financially due to the strikes.
The story of the Po’ Boy speaks of charity, of community and giving. I scheduled it to drop after Christmas because frankly, I figured if I’m enjoying my peace, why would I go blow up folks emails with a recipe?? This one will serve you any day of the year, and I hope for many years to come. Merry Christmas, Cookers.
What You Need:
3-5 pound chuck roast, fat trimmed
1/4 c flour
2 Tbsp oil to sear roast
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 c hot water
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, julienned
5 cloves of garlic from the peppers
Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.
French loaves dependent on how many you are feeding. The recipe will cover 4 loaves with ease, but I used the authentic long rolls.
1 c rich mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
Provolone cheese slices
Shredded lettuce, red onion, pickle and tomato if you want it fully “dressed.”
What You Do:
Start by preheating your crock-pot. I start mine on high, then lower it after a couple hours.
Season your roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder.
Dredge entire roast in flour.
Heat some cooking oil in a large skillet on medium-high.
Heat roast on all sides about two minutes.
Set roast on a cutting board and make 5 slits, but avoid piercing all the way through the meat.
Place a clove of garlic in each slit.
In the skillet, heat the butter and use it to sauté onions until just translucent.
Pour hot water into crock-pot and drop bouillon cubes in.
Add in the onions
Move roast to the crock-pot.
Place the Greek peppers into the pot.
Pour some of the pepper brine over the roast.
Close the lid and let it do the damn thang.
After two or three hours turn it to low and let it go.
You can cook this as long as you want, but I highly suggest at least 8 hours. We went an entire 24. I had things to do.
About an hour before serving it, I fork shredded the beef. There was barely a sign of the garlic, onion or peppers. They disintegrated and left behind loads of flavor.
Before serving you’ll want to prep all your veggies.
I can’t leave Cajun seasoning on the shelf like ever, so I added a tablespoon to my mayo.
To put this together, we sliced our baguettes horizontally and hollowed the top. I’m not huge on bread as rule, plus this makes room for the toppings.
We baked these for 5 minutes with the provolone on the top half, inside the hollow.
I think y’all can figure it out from here, no??
Ok. Pull the bread out of the oven.
Slap some of that meat between your buns and dress it your way. Ya made me have to go and say it.
Close the bun and press it down good before you pick up.
Also note that once ya pick it up, there’s no setting it back down. There’s no conversation. Don’t wear white. Have a roll of napkins in your lap and on the table to catch the juice. Hell, just eat it naked.
You guys enjoy these bomb-ass sammies and the rest of 2020 as best you can. I’m deep in the throes of yoga school and I’m not letting up until my certifications are complete. One at a time, things are getting knocked out. I have a laser pointed focus right now and it’s on freedom. Anything not getting me closer to that goal is on the back-burner.
I’ve structured social media into my work day at home to avoid wasting time but also while keeping up PR for my book and the community.
I haven’t much time for looking at what others are up to. I’m coordinating classes for new and existing yoga clients, and building a business slowly but surely. Baby steps are so important because it hurts a lot less when we fall back, and those small steps can be the difference between a bruise or a break. Ahhh. I love analogy and metaphor. Words and thoughts are so divine.
I’ll see you guys before the New Year, most likely. If not, ring that MF in LOUDLY!! Make it your bitch because this one has been bullshit in so many ways!! I’m still grateful as fuck though. How bout you??