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The Ugly Brothers Barbeque
Cajun Recipes

Maurice, Louisiana, dubbed "Turducken Town" by National Geographic (November, 2005) is the culinary spiritual home of the Ugly Brothers. It is here in Vermillion Parish that Bud Ugly's Great-Great Grandfather, Maurice Villien, arrived from Savoy, France after the end of the War of Northern Aggression and homesteaded on the prarie between Lafayette and Abbeville. The village now bears his name and is home for about 500 of the best cooks in America. A few points of interest in modern Maurice are: Hebert's Specialty Meats, world famous for crawfish stuffed de-boned chickens and City Bar, which has for three generations carried on the tradition of serving the coldest beer in South-West Louisiana.

Though the Ugly Brothers reside in Sierra Madre, California, these bonds (and frequent road trips) have profoundly influenced these three charcuterie-ians.

You wanna hear what's gonin' on in Acadiana, cher? Then tune your Browser to radio KRVS, at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Mais yea!

Ugly Blackened Fish
Your not gonna find it on this page!

Many people think of Blackened fish as a Cajun tradition. -WRONG- While it is in fact the recent invention of Cajun Chef Paul Prudomme, it is not a traditional Cajun dish. Many Cajuns resent the fact that when the Cajun food craze hit, Blackened Redfish is what most people came to think of as Cajun. So lets keep the record straight! It's really good, and a lot of Cajuns do like it (though they may not admit it), but it should never be mistaken as a traditional Cajun dish!

For that reason our Blackened Fish recipe does not appear on this page, but can be located on our Aquatic Recipes page.

Mr. Jack's BBQ Sauce
A traditional Ugly Family recipe

The sauce recipe used by Jacques Cyr "Mr. Jack" Villien for his famous sheep roasts. This is an old fasioned, tart and pinkish colored sauce. It is not as tomato heavy as is the current style for BBQ sauce.

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
1 onion chopped fine
3 sticks celery chopped fine
a few cloves garlic chopped fine
  some vegetable oil
 1 bottle (14oz) Kraft BBQ sauce or ketchup
1 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS yellow mustard
1 large lemon   juice from 1 large or 2 small
to taste cider vinegar
to taste red & black pepper
The barbecue sauce goes something like this:
sauté an onion, 3 sticks of celery and a few cloves of garlic (all finely chopped), in a moderate amount of oil.  When they are done, add a bottle of Kraft barbecue sauce, or ketchup.  Add about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar,  1 tablespoon yellow mustard, juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons, cider vinegar, red & black pepper to taste (adding more sugar if it is too sour).  Simmer slowly about 1/2 hour.

Baste meat often with this sauce.

Boiled Crawfish

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
2 5 lbs  live crawfish  purged
3 pods  garlic  divided into cloves
 6  lemons sliced or quartered
 1 lb salt  yea, the whole box
 1 bottle  Zatarans crawfish/crab boil  small bottle of Zatarans
 2 bags  Zatarans crawfish/crab boil
 6 oz  cayenne pepper
 6 bay leaves  whole
 4 large  onions  whole
 2 lbs  small red potatoes  whole

You will need a 40 quart (or larger) kettle and an outdoor hi-powered propane burner.

Purge the crawfish in a big tub by rinsing them a few times then, leave some water in the tub and pour a whole mess of salt in with them. Mix it up then let them stand in this for a while (depends on how hungry you are).

Mix spices, and seasoning in about 3-1/2 gallons water in the kettle flame up the burner and bring to a boil. Add potatos and onion and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the crawfish. Boil the crawfish for about 10 minutes then add corn and allow all to stand in the pot for about five minutes before draining. If your kettle is too small to handle all the crawfish at once you may want to add more seasoning.

Spread the table with lots of newspaper, pour out the crawfish, potatos & corn then dig in!

Proper Cajun ettiquette requires that all participants "pinch the tail and suck the head". Head sucking is a very integral part of the crawfish boiling ceremony, the head contains concentrated boiling juices and spices. Tear the tail from the main body of the crawfish, put the open ended torso of the crawfish in your mouth, bite down and suck hard. It may take some practice to avoid sucking down shell fragments but hey, ya gotta start somewhere!

The easiest way to remove the tail meat from the shell is to peel back the first couple of shell segments from the torso end then to give a sharp pinch to the tail end near the flipper. This will allow the tail meat to slide meatly out of the shell.

When finished roll up all the debris in the newspaper and throw it away someplace really far away.

Sweet Pea's Crawfish Etoufee
Original recipe by "Sweet Pea" Rodgers, Lafeyette, Louisiana.

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
2 lbs  crawfish tails  peeled
2 large  onions  chopped fine
 1/2 lb  butter
 2 TBS flour
 1  bell pepper  chopped fine
 1/2 cup celery  chopped fine
 1-1/2 tsp   paprika
salt & pepper  to taste

Melt butter in a large pan.
Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and saute until tender (an awfully long time).
Add crawfish and sprinkle with flour.
Cook for 15 minutes on low/ medium heat, stirring often.
Add paprika to give that delightful golden color.
Season with s & p.
Add water to make a pretty gravy.

Cook another 20-30 minutes.

Serve with rice.

NOTES : Let the good times roll, mes amies!
P.S.: you don't really need this much butter

Shrimp Bisque
An original recipe by Bud Ugly

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
 1-1/2 lbs  shrimp
2 TBS  celery diced
 2 TBS  onion diced
 4 TBS  butter or margarine
 2 TBS  flour
 2 cups  chicken broth
 2 cups half & half
 3 TBS  dry sherry
 1/2 tsp paprika
 1/3 tsp each  salt & nutmeg

Shell & clean uncooked shrimp. Set aside a few for garnish; dice remaining shrimp. Cook diced & whole shrimp, celery & onion in butter until onion is tender but not browned. Remove whole shrimp and set aside again. Stir flour into vegetable mixture. Add chicken broth, half & half, nutmeg & salt. Cook until smooth and slightly thickened. Stir in sherry. Add more salt and nutmeg if desired. Garnish with remaining shrimp & serve.


Tasso is a Cajun smoked pork product. It made from strips of pork butt that have been intensely seasoned and heavily smoked. Because Tasso is so strong it used usually used to flavor jambalayas, gumbos & soups rather than being served on its own.

You want to smoke your Tasso at a low temperature with heavy smoke. Your finished Tasso should be FIRM so that it does not flake or fall apart, after all, you will be dicing it to add to your long simmering gumbos.

Basic Tasso
Traditional Tasso is made from pork but that has been cut into strips approximately 2 x 4 x 1 inch thick. The Ugly Brothers often use boneless pork strips.

Pig Meat
3 parts plain salt
2 parts Brown sugar
2 parts fresh black pepper
1 part cayenne
1 part white pepper
2 parts paprika
1/2 part celery seed
1 part onion powder
1 part garlic powder
1/2 part cinnamon
1/2 part mustard seed

Coat heavily and refrigerate 2-4 days before smoking. Heavy smoke at 200-225 until internal temperature reaches 165.

Another excellent Tasso recipe can be found on The Gumbo Pages

Ugly Brothers Cured Tasso

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
6 lbs  pork loin  cut into 3 or 4 pieces
6 TBS Morton Sugar Cure (plain)
 6 tsp brown sugar
2 TBS cayenne pepper
1-1/2 TBS black pepper  fresh ground
 2 TBS white pepper
4 TBS Hungarian paprika
2 TBS onion powder
2 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS cinnamon ground
  1 TBS mustard seed   ground
1 TBS celery seed ground
1/2 cup water

Cut the pork loin into 3 or 4 managable pieces. Mix all spices well and remove 2 TBS of the spice cure mixture. Dissolve the mixture into 1/2 cup water and inject equal amounts into the pork lion pieces. Evenly rub the remaining cure mixture into the pork, place in plastic containers or baggies and refridgerate at 40°F for 10 days to two weeks.

At the end of the curing period rinse off the loins under cold water then allow to stand in cold water for at least a half hour. Remove from water, pat dry and allow to air further air dry.

Bring the temperature of your Big Green Egg or other smoker to about 190-200°F. Smoke the loins under heavy smoke for about 6 hours or until an internal temperature of 150°F is reached.

Couchon du Lait (roasted suckling pig)
Recipe By: Sister Ima Ugly

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
 1  suckling pig  dressed
 2 1/2  quarts  rice dressing
 salt. black pepper, red pepper
 oil or soft butter
 1 clove  garlic   (hardly seems enough, eh?)
 1  small red apple
 2  cranberries or raisins
Select a suckling pig, about 12 lbs. in weight. Wash it well. Dry it inside & out. Rub the inside of the pig with 1 tablespoon of salt. Fill the pig with the rice dressing. Sew up the pig. Put a block of wood in the pig's mouth to hold it open. In order to skewer the legs into position, pull the forelegs foreword and the hindlegs backward. Rub the outside of the pig with salt, black and red pepper and oil or soft butter, then dredge it entirely in flour.

Cover the pig's ears with pieces of greased paper, securing them with paper clips. Place the pig in a pan in a hot Turbo Grill or oven heated to 480 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and roast until tender, allowing 30 minutes to the pound. In order to make the skin crusty (what the Acadians call "Quain") baste the pig every 15 minutes with oil or melted butter and dredge it with more flour. Remove the paper from the ears during the last 30 minutes of roasting.

When done, place the roasted pig on a large platter. Remove the wood from the mouth and replace it with a small red aple. Put the cranberries or raisins in the eye cavities and make a wreath of parsley around the neck.

Deep Fried Turkey

Les Ugly, bird in handSounds pretty disgusting doesn't it? Well if ya haven't tried it, this is THE BEST way to do a turkey. Everyone the Ugly Brothers have fried a turkey for have been skeptical (to be polite) about the concept. Afterwards the verdict has been unanimous.... all have agreed that it is the BEST TURKEY they have ever tried.

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
12 lb whole turkey  fresh, unstuffed
5 gallons peanut oil
 lots of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
 lots of injecting marinate

- Heavy duty gloves with long forearms, (welders gloves are good)
- Face Sheila or safety glasses
- Chemical fire extinguisher (non-water based) or a bucket of sand

Safety tips to remember:
1) A 24 quart boiling pot (the most popular size) will overflow if the turkey is much larger than 13 pounds. Be sure your pot is large enough to contain expansion of the hot oil at least 6 inches above the level of the immersed turkey.
2) Test for volume of oil required the day before you fry.
3) Hot oil & water DO NOT MIX - be sure your turkey is dry before you try it lower it in hot oil. The resulting splatter from a wet turkey can be very dangerous.
4) Keep small children and pets away from the hot oil. Someone may like the turkey so much that they may wonder what fried poodle tastes like, or worse.....
5) Before immersing the turkey turn the flame OFF. This can help prevent a dangerous flare up if the pot overflows. Re-light the fire after the turkey is completely immersed
6) The oil will remain dangerously hot for hours after the bird has been fried.

Further into the cauldronAbout oil fires:
The leading cause of restaurant fires is water being added to hot oil in deep fryers. The water, being heavier than oil, sinks quickly to the bottom and nearly immediately boils and turns to steam. The hot steam rapidly expands and forces itself back up through the hot oil creating a volcano of splatter. This oil being thrown from the fryer often lands on nearby open flames from grills and other cookers and immediately ignites, spreading the flame across all areas covered by the splattered oil. Spraying water to stop the fire only spreads out the oil, and thus spreads the fire across a larger area.

It is for this reason you must be sure your turkey has NO excess water or liquid in its surface or in the cavity and the flame on the turkey fryer should be TURNED OFF prior to immersing the bird. Water on or in the turkey can cause oil splatter which can ignite and scorch the poor sod lowering the turkey into the oil. Moisture in the skin of the turkey will create much the same sort of reaction, though on a smaller scale. When your turkey (remember, surface and cavity dried) is SLOWLY lowered into the HOT OIL, the moisture remaining in the skin will cause the oil to boil up about two inches higher. This is a normal reaction and poses no problems providing that the boiling pot is big enough to handle that expansion (the Ugly Brothers always allow a minimum of six inches for expansion), and that other safety precautions have been taken.

Here's the hardware you will need:
- A boiling pot (24 quart is the most common size and is sufficient for a 13lb bird)Pegged at 350
- A high output propane burner (135,000 BTU)
- A long stemmed (12 inch) cooking thermometer
- Marinate injector (see injectors on our Grillosphy page)
- Heavy duty gloves with long forearms

You will want to put a drip pan under the fryer, large disposable aluminum trays or platters work well. Frying turkeys on a wood deck is not a good idea. High heat can scorch the deck and any oil spilled or splattered will stain it. If you are frying on a nice concrete deck you may want to spread a thin layer of sand several feet around the fryer to absorb spilled or splattered oil.

Now, Here's what you do:
The day before you fry your turkey you need to find out what volume of oil is required. To do this put your turkey on the lowering fixture and place it in the boiling pot. Pour in enough water to cover the turkey to within 1/2 inch of its highest point. Remove the turkey and mark the water line., this is the level of oil you will need. Pat the turkey dry and refrigerate.

Les stands triumphantWhen you are ready to begin, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and allow it to stand at room temperature for about an hour. Fill your boiler to the level mark you made yesterday and crank up the fire. While the oil is coming to temperature make sure the inside and outside of the turkey are DRY. Inject your marinate into the breast and legs of the bird then liberally coat with Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Again, make sure the surface of you turkey is DRY.

Most people will immerse their turkey in the boiling oil when it reaches 350 F, The Ugly Brothers prefer to get the oil temperature to 375 F since it will cool down to 350 when the bird is lowered into the oil. Be sure to turn the burner OFF when lowering the turkey into the hot oil, a dangerous flare up can occur if the oil overflows. This is often a problem for those who don't take the time to, or don't properly determine the volume of oil required and over fill the pot.

The rule is to fry the bird at 350 F for 3-1/2 minutes per pound. A 13 pound turkey will cook in approximately 45 minutes. Enjoy the best turkey you've ever had, and hey, while you've got all that hot oil why not make some of the Ugly Brothers Hushpuppies? Bon apetite!

Additional information and injecting marinate recipes can be found at The Cajun Shoppe, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The Final Victory!

Ugly Brothers Hushpuppies

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
2 cups   corn meal
1 cup  flour
 2 TBS  onion  minced
 2 TBS  garlic  minced
  2 TBS  bacon drippings
 2 TBS  baking powder
 shrimp or crabmeat
 oil for frying

Mix all ingredients with just enough milk to make a thick mixture. Wet hands & roll into 1 1/2 in. balls. Stuff with a shrimp or a some lump crab meat. Fry until brown, drain.

NOTE: If you're frying a turkey and you gots all this hot oil make a bunch of these 'puppies!

More links to Maurice, LA

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