As you might recall I recently traveled to New Orleans for a conference, and during that time I was able to take in some really great food, which included gumbo, shrimp po’ boys, and beignets to name a few. There was one dish however that I did not order while in Louisiana, and that was a delicious bowl of red beans and rice. So for the last several weeks, I have been thinking about making a batch of red beans and rice, and this past weekend was a perfect opportunity to make this wonderfully delicious, and comforting dish.
The name red beans and rice sounds really easy to make, and it is, but there is a lot more that goes into this dish besides red beans and rice, a lot more in fact, however it is really cheap to make and can vegetarian as well. This is a perfect dish to make on a Sunday, and have later that day, or better yet, serving it on Monday. This recipe makes quiet a bit so feel free to store in the freezer for few weeks, or invite as many guests over and get your red beans and rice on.
- 1 lb of red kidney beans, cleaned, and soaked overnight
- 4 cups of beef stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, trimmed, and finely diced
- 6 ribs of celery, trimmed, and finely diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 links of Andouille Sausage, thick sliced
- 1 ham hock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dry thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning (Zatarain’s works well)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Tabasco to taste (I use a garlic tabasco)
- Cooked white rice
The night before you are going to make this dish, soak your beans in a large pot of water. When you are ready the next day, clean your beans by picking any floaters, or ones that are not looking too well, and disgard them. Rinse and drain the beans and add them back to the pot, covering with fresh water. Bring the beans to a boil and cook for about 45 minutes, just until tender.
While the beans are boiling, this is a great time to prep your vegetables. Bring a large skillet to medium-high heat, and add the olive oil. Bring to temp, then add in your onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
Now, once the beans are tender, drain them again, and add them back to the pot, this time adding your beef stock and any more water to cover them up. Toss in your ham hock, sausage, and sauteed vegetables, and give them a nice stir. Add in your thyme, bay leaves, cajun spices, worestershire sauce, and tabasco. Give a nice pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Give another good stir. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
This is going to simmer on the stove for roughly three hours. Taste as the beans simmer and adjust your flavors accordingly by adding more salt, pepper, or tabasco, and give it a stir every time. You will take notice as to how creamy the texture is becoming which is truly inviting and difficult to resist.
This is a good time to get your rice cooking if you haven’t done so already.
You have a couple of options now that everything is cooked. Serve them now as you cannot resist a bowl of delicious red beans and rice, or let them cool down before storing, and serve them the following day. You will be surprised at how the flavors are enhanced by serving them the next day.
This is truly comforting and truly a great dish from Louisiana.