Red beans are a classic in the south, a part of who we are and way of eating to everyone born and raised along the southern delta states. From Mobile, along the gulf coast of Mississippi and throughout Louisiana, aroma of red beans wafts from homes and restaurants alike, typically on Mondays. Why, there are as many ways of making red beans and rice as there are cooking shrimp I suppose. Probably more than that. We add everything from smoked sausage or Andouille, ham hocks, smoked turkey legs, chunks of ham, pork chops, pieces of salt pork, thick slices of bacon, even my favorite, pickled pork.
The red bean recipe I am cooking today is not the typical pot of red beans, not the real deal recipe I posted several years ago. You see, I know there are many ways to cook red beans and that recipe uses pickled pork and it is one that resembles the truer taste of New Orleans’ kitchens. Then there is the sausage and bean medley I posted two years ago and also the slow cooker version posted back in 2010.
Now just so you know, the beans I like to use are not red kidney beans. Southern red beans are small oval pea-like legumes, a beautiful red much like the kidney and the same red bean I suppose grown in Latin American countries. Enjoy!
Southern Red Beans, Sausage and Rice
I say, “there ain’t nothing better than sitting down to a bowl of red beans.” Life just doesn’t get much better.
about 8 servings
1 pound dry small red beans (if not available, use kidney beans)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic toes, minced
6 cups chicken stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1 teaspoon salt-free Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 pounds spicy link sausage, sliced
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups long grain white rice
1 tablespoon butter
Prep beans the day before: Rinse with water and cover with enough water to come at least 3-inches above the beans. Allow to soak overnight. Or use my slow cooker method, in starting your beans which is what I did.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Saute the trinity (celery, onion, pepper) until onion is wilted. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Add the beans, the chicken stock and the next 9 listing of ingredients. At first boil, reduce to low heat and cook (at a slight simmer) covered for 2 hours stirring every 30 minutes.
Stir sausage into the beans, cover and continue cooking for another hour stirring twice.
Cook the rice in a large saucepan: Bring the water to a boil and whisk in the salt and rice. Add the butter. Cover with lid and at simmer, reduce heat to low and allow rice to cook for 18 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice set for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a large (turning) fork. You can also cook the rice to perfection using the Creole method.
Serve the red beans and sausage in a bowl over the rice and with a generous amount of hot, crusty French bread. We like to top it off with red pepper sauce along with sliced green onions.