The boxed version is easy to make. Brown a pound of ground beef or ground pork, add the dirty rice mix, add 2.5 cups of water, cover, and simmer until done.
It's so easy, in fact, that I knew I had no excuse to buy the boxed stuff, and should look for my own recipe instead.
Recipes for dirty rice abound on the internet, some of which had ingredients I didn't care for (notably chicken livers), so after a bit of poking around I cobbled together my own version as follows:
1 lb pork sausage (or ground beef), cookedI had dehydrated garlic and dehydrated red bell peppers from last year's garden, but fresh versions can be substituted. I also had crushed cayenne peppers from the garden. We have pork in the freezer after we swapped beef for pork with some neighbors. I used chicken stock I canned up from a chicken carcass following a meal last year.
1 onion, chopped and cooked with the pork (or ground beef)
2 tablespoons rehydrated red bell peppers, soaked in chicken broth (enough water and chicken broth to make 2.5 cups)
1 tablespoon garlic (or rehydrated garlic)
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red cayenne peppers
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup rice
I started by soaking the dehydrated red bell pepper and garlic in the chicken broth (which I eventually supplemented with water to make 2.5 cups).
While the pork and onions were browning, I mixed rice with the rest of the spices...
...then added it to the browned pork.
Pouring in the chicken stock with rehydrated veggies.
Next step, bring it to a boil, cover, let it simmer.
I always like to add a shake of Montreal steak seasoning, even to the boxed version.
This was a simple recipe, but I'm absurdly pleased to be able to eliminate another boxed item in favor of a homemade version. Ah, the little things in life.