Experience a taste of the Tex-Lex at home with this Thanksgiving-ready recipe from the Houstonian’s new restaurant, TRIBUTE.
For hundreds of years, the El Camino Real de los Tejas, the network of roads that stretched through Mexico across the Rio Grande and to Texas’ original capital in Louisiana, allowed for commerce, the movement of troops, population shifts, and cultural exchange with indigenous groups, Europeans, and Americans. Every road met in San Antonio and spread out again through modern-day Austin, Central Texas, East Texas, and finally what is now the Pelican State.
The El Camino Real de los Tejas never cut through Houston, but its spirit lives on at TRIBUTE, the newly opened restaurant at the Houstonian, where executive chef Neal Cox and his team specialize in the cuisines of Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, and their comingling. Cox and company define it as Tex-Lex, clueing diners into the elevated takes on the regions’ dishes.
They include smoky, luscious oxtail paired with fat creole barbecue-coated gulf shrimp; bacon-wrapped quail with a mezcal glaze; a blue corn-masa sope of chile-braised cabrito; and a gravy of boudin, corn, and andouille, perfect for a large Thanksgiving gathering, as in 20 guests or so.
Cox shares the recipe for the gravy below.
Boudin, Corn, and Andouille Gravy
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 andouille sausage links, small dice
3 yellow onion, small dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 ears yellow sweet corn, shucked, lightly grilled, and kernels removed
1 cup sherry wine
½ cup sherry vinegar
3 boudin sausage links, cooked, removed from casing, and lightly crumbled
½ gallon good quality chicken stock
2 quarts heavy cream
1 quart whole milk
3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and lightly chopped
½ bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, washed and chopped fine
Salt and pepper, to taste
Creole seasoning (optional)
Heat a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and sauté andouille sausage for 3 minutes. Remove sausage and let drain.
Next, add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently. The mixture should be translucent and not caramelized. Add the corn to the onion mixture and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sherry and sherry vinegar and reduce by half. Fold in the crumbled boudin and andouille sausages, and mix gently until combined. Add chicken stock and continue to cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add the heavy cream and milk and reduce heat to a strong simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Make sure to stir the gravy frequently during this time. Add thyme and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add creole seasoning to the gravy for more heat.
For more information on TRIBUTE and to make reservations, visit the restaurant’s website. Photography: Daniel Ortiz Photography, courtesy the Houstonion Hotel, Club, and Spa
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