In New Orleans, red beans are a cultural tradition dating back hundreds of years. Through the years, Red Beans and Rice was the quintessential dish associated with Mondays. Whatever day of the week, however, Red Beans and Rice is sure to please the most picky of eaters.
This delicious dish us updated and reposted from April 16, 2012. It was inspired by the “Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice” from the All Recipes site.
Ingredients for Red Beans and Rice:
I used the following ingredients: Dry kidney beans, the “trinity” – onion, bell pepper and celery – garlic, smoked sausage, ham and spices. I really like the taste of Conecuh Original Smoked Sausage. Therefore, I used it in place of the more typical andouille sausage. The spices that I used consisted of bay leaves, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, dried sage, dried parsley, Creole or Cajun seasoning, and salt.
Making the Red Beans and Rice:
The smoked sausage that I used was uncooked. Therefore, I started by cooking it in a large Dutch oven, and draining it well on paper towels.
Then, I poured all of the fat out of the Dutch oven, and wiped any excess fat left in the pan with a paper towel. I left the browned bits from the cooked sausage in the pan for added flavor. Next, I added the “trinity” and garlic to the pan. I cooked it over medium heat for about five minutes.
After that, I returned the sausage to the pan, and added the ham and all the spices.
Finally, I added the kidney beans and water. I brought this to a boil. I covered the pan and lowered the heat to medium-low for a one and a half-hour simmer.
After the hour and a half, I uncovered the pan, and cooked the mixture for another 45 minutes at a slightly higher heat until the beans were tender and the sauce was thickened. Since I like a creamier texture, I mashed some of the beans after 45 minutes with my potato masher.
I served the Red Beans and Rice with a nice Caesar salad, a Crusty French bread, and a nice Merlot. Yum!
Red Beans and Rice
- 16 ounces kidney beans dry
- 16 ounces smoked sausage sliced*
- 2 cups onion chopped (1 large)
- 1-½ cups green pepper chopped (1 large)
- 1 cup celery chopped (3 to 4 stalks)
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 8 ounces ham cut into ½-inch cubes (2 cups)
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 5 cups water
- Cooked white rice
- Sliced green onion tops for garnish optional
- Rinse kidney beans; soak in a large pot of water overnight. When ready to use, drain kidney beans and rinse well. Set aside.
- Cook the smoked sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until well browned. Drain well on paper towels, pressing as much fat as possible from pieces. Set aside. Pour fat from pan and discard. Wipe interior of pan with paper towels to remove any remaining fat.
- Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to Dutch oven; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked sausage, ham and all seasonings. Cook for several minutes, stirring well. Add kidney beans and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer covered for for 1½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook for another 45 minutes at a slightly higher heat, or until the beans are tender and the sauce is thickened. Remove bay leaves and correct seasonings. If you prefer a creamier texture, mash some of the beans with a potato masher.
- Serve the beans over rice, accompanied by a nice Casear salad, French bread and a light red wine. Yield: 8 servings.
- *If you use andouille or other cooked sausage, start with the cooking of the vegetables in a little olive oil.