Red beans and rice is a dish that is native to Louisiana. Traditionally it's enjoyed on Mondays because it's a one-pot meal that makes use of leftovers from Sunday's family dinner. The important thing to remember is that the beans must be soaked overnight, therefore a little planning is involved when making it.
It also requires time because the beans simmer with pork, vegetables, and aromatics for two hours. The resulting dish is hearty soul food that's filling and flavorful. Four different kinds of pork — bacon fat, ham, ham hocks, and smoked sausage — infuse the beans with an amazing richness.
To take a trip to the Bayou in your own kitchen, all you have to do is make these red beans and rice! Here's the recipe.
- 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over
3 tablespoons bacon grease
1/4 cup chopped tasso, or chopped ham
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 pound smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked ham hocks
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock, or water
4 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish
- Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.
- Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)
- Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
- Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.
- Main Dishes, Beans
- North American
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