Home Chefs in Acadiana: Susan Champagne

Posted at 8:16 AM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 09:16:46-05

Susan Champagne of Carencro says nothing brings her crew together like a Saint's game and the perfect game-day spread.

Sundays are a family day where she does an original take on a traditional barbecue. One of her family favorites is ribs.

"When you cook ribs it can be kind of intimidating," says Champagne. "You think you have to put them on the grill all day long and I said, 'Well, I'm not going to sit out there and be on the grill all day,' so I learned how to cook them."

Susan begins by coating her ribs in three dry ingredients. Her trio includes a combination of Prudhomme's Meat Magic, Nunu's All Seasoning, and a couple cups of brown sugar.

The rub gets massaged into the meat before Champagne pulls out her secret ingredient that she says puts her ribs a rack above the rest.

A 16 ounce bottle of Dr. Pepper.

The soda gets poured into the bottom of the pan to act as a shallow bath for the meat.

Then the top of the ribs get coated in Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce before finding their way into a 350 degree oven.

The ribs cook for a couple of hours until done.

But the food doesn't stop there. For her side, Susan puts another twist on a classic, baked beans.

She starts with two cans of beans.

"It doesn't have to be anything special because we add a lot to it," she says. "So I just use Bush's Original."

But after the beans are in the pan, that's where the fun starts.

To the beans go a little more than a half cup of sliced pineapple.

A half cup of Guidry's "Holy Trinity" mix, a half cup brown sugar, a tablespoon of butter and a cup and a half Sweet Baby Ray's join the pineapple followed by one more secret ingredient.

"I use Savoie's Sausage in mine," she says. "It's going to give it a smokey flavor."

A thorough mix and the beans head into the oven alongside the ribs to cook for an hour and a half.

Champagne says the best part about the meal, besides sharing it with family, is that the cook time gives you a chance to get out of the kitchen.