“My first experience with corn maque choux was a dish my uncle made that had smothered corn and pork shoulder. It was cooked all the way down to where it was a thick stewlike gravy and served over rice. It wasn’t until I moved to New Orleans that I saw corn maque choux with corn and peppers and sometimes cream.” — Chef Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans, Louisiana.
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- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 lamb shanks or 2 pounds lamb neck meat
- 5 large onions, diced (about 6 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 3 bunches green onions, sliced
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ears corn, kernels stripped and reserved
- 2 cups peeled and seeded tomatoes
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with butcher’s twine
- 4 cups water, or more if needed
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large cast-iron or stainless steel pan, heat oil over high heat. Add lamb, and cook, rotating frequently, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove lamb and set aside. Add a small amount of water to pan. With a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of pan to form a rich gravy.
- In the same pan, add onion, peppers, green onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until reduced to a dark brown paste, about 1 hour. Add small amounts of water, as necessary, to keep mixture from burning.
- Add reserved lamb, corn, tomatoes, thyme, and enough water to come up to the top of lamb (about 4 cups). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2½ hours. Remove thyme. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over steamed rice.