Red Beans & Rice

Created 11 Jan 2016 20:59, Updated 11 Jan 2019 22:02

Red Beans & Rice

From my mom via my brother

According to my eldest brother, this is how Gramma Bozant showed our mom to make Red Beans & Rice, sans the pickled pork.

1 lb. red (or pink) kidney beans (if you can, use Camillia brand, onlineā€¦ the best!)
a ham bone
4 bay leaves, divided
2 small onions, 6 celery stalks, 1 green pepper, all chopped, divided
6-8 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 T or so dried thyme
1 T or so black pepper (or combination black, white, cayenne)
2 soup-spoons (T) or so Worcestershire
1 soup-spoon (T) of Tabasco (or other Louisiana hot sauce) or to taste
1-2 cups favorite red wine (optional)
1 lb. smoked sausage halved length-wise and cut in 1/2" chunks on the bias or 1 lb. or so ham sliced somewhat like the sausage (or combination of both)
small handful parsley, chopped
small handful green onions, chopped, for garnish

Soak red beans overnight in water (or, best, stock) to 1" above the beans in a large kettle or stock pot.

Bring the kettle temperature to a high, bubbly simmer or maybe a low boil. As the beans come to cooking temperature, add the hambone, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 of the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, and thyme, and all of the black pepper and Worcestershire. Stir, stir, stir, then cover and cook for 2 hours, or until the beans are cooked through.

Remove the lid, adjust the heat to that high simmer-low boil. Remove the spent bay leaves and add the good ones. Also add the remaining onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, and thyme. If using wine, add it now. Stir, stir, stir.

Cook the beans for another hour, then add the sausage/ham and parsley. Check the pot at intervals to make sure it's maintaining a low boil and not getting dry. Add additional water/stock as needed. You're looking for the bean starch to thicken the liquid into the consistency of a pale pink, thick soup. Remember, the beans will thicken as they cool, so don't cook them too stiff.

When the beans have reached the consistency you want, turn off the heat and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, Tabasco). Serve over rice with a green salad and some crusty bread.

Vegetables: the onion and celery amounts above are double the original recipe, plus I added a leek. This all worked well.
Beans: I soaked over night, then drained and rinsed them. To cook, I added a half gallon of fresh water to the pot, which turned out perfectly.
Meat: one link of Johnsonville andouille sausage and the ham from our very meaty bone worked well. I would brown the andouille before adding it next time.
Wine: used 1/3 cup, would probably increase to 3/4 cup.
Spicing: note Worcestershire amount next time; also used ~1/16 tsp cayenne and would increase to scant 1/4 tsp. No Tabasco needed.
Cooking: bubbled for three hours in stock pot without a lid. I pulled the bone out and chopped the ham from it after ~2 hours.
Misc: brown rice was perfect.

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