Saturday, March 28, 2009

Red Beans and Rice

I'd promised this recipe for Hilary several weeks ago, and finally got around to making it last week. I used veggie sausage instead of the ham hocks and used simple canola oil instead of bacon grease, but it all was flavorful and spicy and good. It takes forever to cook; I actually started simmering around 3:30pm at my house and then transported the pot to Hilary's so it could keep cooking while we watched basketball. It was ready by halftime.

Red Beans and Rice from Homesick Texan

16 oz. red beans, soaked
1 tablespoon of bacon grease (can substitute canola or olive oil if you prefer)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 pound of andouille sausage, cubed
1/2 cup of parsley, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
Cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste
2 smoked ham hocks
8 cups of chicken broth or water
4 green onions, green part chopped (save the white for another use)
6 cups of cooked rice

After cleaning and sorting, soak your beans in water overnight.

In a large pot on medium heat, sauté in bacon grease the onion, celery and bell pepper for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sausage to the pot and cook for two minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot except for the green onions.

Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 20 minutes and then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, take off the lid, stir the pot and continue to let it simmer for two hours. You might check back on it every once in a while to make sure there’s still enough liquid in the pot.

At this time, test your beans—they should be soft, but if not, continue to cook on low until they are.

When the beans are ready, with a wooden spoon smash a few of them against the side of the pot—this will make your beans extra creamy.

Pour the beans over rice, and garnish with the green onions. A few shakes of some Louisiana hot sauce such as Tabasco or Crystal is a good addition as well.

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