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Bayou Teche Potato Pirogues

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“Beef stew served in potato skin "boats." Adapted from Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Tastes. Don't let the long list of ingredients and instructions scare you; these are easy. I prefer to bake the pirogues, but I've also included the instructions for deep-frying. You can serve any stew or chili this way.”
READY IN:
1hr 45mins
SERVES:
6
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine seasoning mix ingredients and set aside.
  3. Prick each potato with a fork.
  4. Bake potatoes for 45 minutes.
  5. Let cool until they can be handled.
  6. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp, leaving about 1/4" in skins.
  7. Dice potato pulp and set aside. There should be about 3 cups.
  8. Combine 2 tablespoons oil with 2 tablespoons seasoning mix, and mix well.
  9. Brush the inside of the potato skins with the seasoned oil.
  10. Place on a baking sheet and return to oven.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Turn over and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  13. While potato skins are cooking, make the stew.
  14. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of seasoning mix over the meat and rub it in well.
  15. Heat remaining oil in a 5-quart pot over high heat, just until it begins to smoke, 3-4 minutes.
  16. Add meat and spread evenly over the bottom of the pot.
  17. Cook for 2 minutes without stirring.
  18. Turn meat and cook just until it loses its red color, about 2 minutes more.
  19. Remove meat and set aside, pressing it against the pan as you take it out to release some of the juices.
  20. To the same pot, add 1 cup onion, 1 1/2 cups celery, 3 tablespoons poblano peppers, 3 tablespoon Anaheim peppers, and 2 tablespoons seasoning mix.
  21. If any juices accumulate from the meat, add them, too.
  22. Mix well and cook, stirring and scraping the pot frequently, until the vegetables are dark brown and the bottom of the pot is covered with dark brown particles, 5-7 minutes--but watch the pot, not the clock. Don't let them scorch.
  23. Add 1 cup of reserved potato pulp and mash down.
  24. Scrape bottom of pot until anything that sticks is loosened. It will come up in layers; turn the pot to make sure everything is scraped up or it will burn.
  25. Continue stirring until well-combined and potatoes are sticking heavily, adding 1/2 cup stock if necessary to prevent scorching, about 6-8 minutes.
  26. Add 1 1/2 cups stock and scrape the bottom of the pan until everything that's sticking is dissolved.
  27. Add 1 1/2 cups potato pulp, the remaining stock, the reserved meat and remaining seasoning mix.
  28. Cover and bring to a boil.
  29. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes.
  30. Add remaining onions, celery, and peppers, and all the mushrooms and carrots, and simmer until meat is tender, 10-15 minutes.
  31. Whisk in remaining potato pulp and remove from heat.
  32. Fill each potato skin with 1 1/4 cups of stew, letting some of it slop over onto the plate, and serve immediately.
  33. Variation: You can also deep-fry the potato skins. If frying, eliminate the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place vegetable oil in a deep fryer to a depth of 4". Heat oil to 350°F.
  34. Carefully lower the skins into the hot oil and fry 4-5 minutes, until rich brown, pushing down with tongs if they float.
  35. Remove with tongs, drain, and sprinkle with the 2 1/2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix.

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