Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Parisa - A Texas/Alsatian microtreasure

I have some friends that live just south of me in Medina County where the Texas Hill Country meets the Texas Grassland, in an area known as "Little Alsace". People settled there after coming from the Alsace region of France. Their French/German traditions live on in the area including the cities of Hondo, D'Hanis, Castroville and Quihi. If you live in the area you are bound to pick up some of the local things, and in this case, that's a good thing.

One of the things that came to the area along with them is a dish called Parisa. I haven't heard that it can be found anywhere in the US but in this small area.

Alsatian Parisa

* 1 lb. exceptionally lean beef

* 1 onion, minced very fine

* 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, de-veined and minced
* 6 ounces cheddar cheese, very finely grated
(I have even tried pepper jack - pretty good too, but not authentic)

juice from a couple small limes
(or one big one!)

** 2 t fresh ground sea salt
- coarse (can use kosher salt if youhave no salt grinder)
** 1 T fresh ground black pepper
- coarse
** 2 t garlic powder

Regular crackers or Ritz for serving the goodies


1. No matter where you get the meat or who grinds it, it should be ground through the fine plate of the grinder. You don't want this chunky.
See important note at bottom of post. Work quickly so meat stays cold through the entire process.

2. Have all ingredients prepared in advance. Combine first four ingredients(*) and mix well to incorporate. Add lime juice, mix again to distribute. Refrigerate.

3. While meat mixture is resting, mix remaining three ingredients together(**). Feel free to experiment with additions and quantities, but it's worth making it this way once as a baseline. Sprinkle spice mix over meat, and mix once more to incorporate well througout the parisa.

Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your taste! Mix it very well, and chill. It tastes best if you make it at least a day before you plan on eating it, as it lets the flavors all mingle. Yo will want an airtight cover over it, or at least press plastic wrap down on the surface to prevent oxidation and picking up srange fridge odors. Goes down best when served on regular crackers or even a Ritz!

IMPORTANT - Meat Grinding Basics:

1. The most important thing to remember in making any fresh ground meat dish is that everything must be excruciatingly CLEAN. I can not stress this enough. This meat is served *raw*, so there is no compromise here. Also, it should be as lean as possible - you want no fat, connective tissue or anything else in there with the meat.

2. Keep the meat chilled as you work with it, whether hamburger, sausage or sirloin. Some people even pack an ice pack around the grinder head while grinding. You can also keep the meat bowl chillled in an ice bath or the like so that it's temperature stays low.


Anonymous said...

I was first introduced to this when I married my wife whose family came from Castroville. The thought of eating raw meat seemed terrible. However, always willing to try something new, I found their authentic recipe (similar to this one) to be quite good and I now enjoy this regularly. I like mine with a dash of Tabasco hot sauce placed onto it just prior to eating it on a saltine cracker. The stuff is really quite addicting once you get a taste for it.

Anonymous said...

My grandma & grandma lived in Hondo all their lives and would always buy or make parisa for us....It is GREAT! There is a little meat market in Hondo on either 14th or 16th street that sells it by the pound, and it is delicious, also!

Teri said...

Dzuiks in Castroville has a regular or spicy premade. It's the only place I have ever seen it and the first time I had heard of it. A stop by Habbys Bakery finishes any trip into Castroville!

Unknown said...

I love the la coste meatmarket the best. I get a few lds every time I visit my auntie. All my buddies in Austin was afraid to try at first but once they tasted it they wanted me to bring some back for them.

Unknown said...

With my wife being from D'Hanis when she first introduced me to it I was kind of leary, but now I love it. We live in D'Hanis and you can get it at the Country Mart there and it is the best.

SampleSam said...

I grew up in D'Hanis all my life and being a picky eater, I didn't try parisa until about 4 years ago. I've been hooked ever since! Still waiting to try Calf Fries "Rocky Mountain Oysters"

Unknown said...

Dziuk's meat market has the best meats. Haby's Bakery....says it all. Thanks, Brian Haby.

Unknown said...

I've eaten this a long as I can remember. I wish I have my Papaw's recipe. We make it with venison every deer season.

Luis M said...

I have tried the Parisa from Dziuks and its excellent, so addictive, they have a spicy version as well. Be there before 3pm because they ran out daily. Last time a friend of mine told me about Schott Meat market in Helotes, Texas selling Parisa and it was really good as well. The problem is that I could eat a whole pound.......

Mark said...

It's Alvarez Food Market.

Mark said...

Actually, I work with the lady that makes it for Country Mart.

~Kathy~ said...

I was visiting my parents the other day, and my Dad and I were talking about the Parisa we used to eat. I sure miss it. I'd love to get a-hold of some again, so he and I can enjoy it again. Perhaps someday I can get back down to Castroville to get some. His parents were both from D'Hanis, then moved to San Antonio when they married, around 1918 or so.

Unknown said...

My dad use to make it there..

Unknown said...

My dad makes it in Hondo.. He use to work meat market on 14th.. for years..

nothing said...

Alamo meat market in comfort has it

Unknown said...

Made this last week. Turned out AWESOME!!! Thank you to my ex husband for finding this and sending to me. He grew up eating it.

Unknown said...

Ive never tried this but Chicks Prime Meat Market has their version for sale, looks like mostly on Friday and Saturday. They are in Spring Branch, on east side of 281, just north of 46. After reading these comments I must try it.