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 end...it 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.