New Orleans Crawfish Boil by Chef Andrew Gerson

Method

Heat large pot over medium heat. Measure and mix your spices in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly. When your pot is hot, add your bacon. When the fat has had time to render and the bacon is crispy, add the spice blend and mix constantly with a whisk to emulsify the spice blend1. Add the garlic to the pot along with the ham hock and let simmer for 2–3 minutes until slightly browned. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for 2–3 more minutes. Turn heat to high and when the pot is smoking hot add your beer. Reduce the liquid by half and pour the contents of the stockpot into a mixing bowl. Insert the colander into the pot (no need to rinse it). Pour the mixing bowl’s content into the colander along with the pineapple and half or a third of the crawfish2. Fill the pot with water to cover one inch above the crawfish. Bring to a slow simmer just below boiling. Cook for 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

To Serve: Slowly remove the colander and once drained thoroughly (over the pot, you don’t want to waste a drop) spread its contents onto a table covered in a few layers of butcher’s paper or a disposable table cloth. Twist the heads from the tails, suck all the goodness out of the head, crack open the tail and pull out the meat. Wash that down with a sip of Summer Ale and repeat until your mound of shells is bigger than everyone else.

1. A note on spices from Paco Roberts: Scientifically speaking, blooming the spices in fat prior to boiling will release more of the volatile compounds in each, making the boil more flavorful. That said, Louisianians don’t do this. However, Louisianians don’t like science. Do this if you wanna be a boss.

2. The second and third batch of crawfish are always the best. The broth transforms into a shellfish stock infusing even more flavor into those little mudbugs. Just fill the colander with crawfish again. Drop them back in the stock for 30 minutes maintaining a low simmer. Repeat as many times as possible.

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Chef Bio

Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson brings to the table ten years of culinary experience as a cook, educator, and activist. As a graduate of the University of Gastronomic Sciences (Pollenzo, Italy) and an active member of Slow Food, Andrew supports local food systems in communities across the country. “I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Brooklyn team, to demonstrate Brewmaster Garrett Oliver’s philosophy of good beer and real food,” says Chef Andrew. Andrew is currently traveling his way around the States, collaborating with some of the country’s most innovative chefs, like Marcus Samuelson (NYC), Chris Shepherd of Houston’s Underbelly, from Sea Change in Minneapolis Jamie Malone, and Paco Roberts of NOLA’s DinnerLab. During The Mash tour, Andrew has picked up new culinary ideas and shared his own from Texas to Boston and everywhere in between, bringing you farm-to-table cuisine steeped in regional flavors, with a dash of Brooklyn sprinkled in for good measure.

Prior to becoming the culinary ambassador of the Brooklyn Brewery, Andrew helped launch Antica Pesa Williamsburg, after working at their flagship restaurant in Rome, and co-founded the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association. Chef Andrew brought his love for handmade pasta back from Italy, where he lived, studied, and cooked for three years, to showcase at Strada Pasta, a pop up dinner series in Philadelphia. “The sense of camaraderie and support for craft beer and local cuisine that I have encountered on the road with Brooklyn Brewery, has inspired and strengthened my culinary values, and enriched my approach to food and community,” says the Chef. Follow him on twitter and instagram @bklynhousechef for delicious Mash morsels.

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