Friday, November 16, 2012

Red beans and rice

One of my favorite New Orleans' dishes is red beans and rice.  I have made a few modifications to my dad's recipe (he uses 1 lb. ground beef and a ham bone, whereas I skip the ground beef and usually use tasso that we order from Cajun Grocer's (but in a pinch, I'd use a ham bone or just let the andouille provide the flavor).     I also don't press my garlic, but instead just mince it finely.  Finally, we're a Crystal hot sauce household, and I just add it to taste!  This recipe freezes wonderfully and is also fantastic made the day before and reheated.  Enjoy!

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

2 lb. dried red kidney beans
ham bone with generous amount of meat (optional)
1 lb. ground beef (optional)
1 lb. hot smoked sausage, sliced or chopped (preferably Andouille)
2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped green pepper
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 bay leaves
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 t. Tabasco sauce (or 2 t. (or to taste) Crystal hot sauce)
1 T. salt (I'd scant this a fair amount and check the seasoning level at the really will depend on the ham/tasso and sausage).
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
water (or equal parts water and chicken stock)

Rinse and pick through beans, discarding any stones or deformed/broken beans.  Place in large pot.  Cover with water and soak overnight.  Drain and rinse a few times.  Place beans back in large pot and cover with water or water/chicken stock mixture 2 inches over the top of the beans.  Add the ham bone, bay leaves, garlic, tomato sauce, Tabasco/Crystal, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour.  Remove ham bone and pick off meat; reserve.  Continue simmering beans, adding water if necessary to keep beans just covered.  In a heavy skillet, brown ground beef and/or sausage.  Drain off fat.  Add onion, celery, and green pepper.  Cover and steam slowly until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add ham meat to skillet.  Remove approximately one cup beans from pot and mash through a sieve.  Return to the pot, along with the meat and vegetables.  Simmer until beans are tender, about one more hour.  Correct seasonings.  Serve over rice with crisp french bread and a salad.

1 comment:

  1. In talking with my dad about this recipe, he gave me a great tip. Rather than trying to mash these beans, he gets a can of red beans, tosses them in the blender (you could use a little water or liquid from the pan for the liquid to blend them), and adds that purée to the pot to make them creamier/thicker. Can't wait to try this great shortcut!