New Orleans Red Beans and Rice I
Red beans and rice is an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine, (not originally of Cajun cuisine) traditionally made on Mondays with red beans, vegetables (bell pepper, onion and celery), spices (thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf) and pork bones as left over from Sunday dinner, cooked together slowly in a pot and served over rice. Meats such as ham, sausage (most commonly Andouille , and Tasso ham are also frequently used in the dish. It is an old custom from the time when ham was a Sunday meal and Monday was washday. A pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes.
- 1 pound dried red kidney beans, sorted, rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
- 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 10 cups of water
- dash Tabasco
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
- white rice
- In a large saucepan or stockpot, render sausage over medium high heat.
- When slightly browned, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and add the onions, peppers, and celery.
- Sweat over medium heat until translucent (5-10 minutes).
- Add garlic, thyme, pepper, and cayenne.
- Cook 1 minute.
- Add beans and stir.
- Add water, bay leaf, and Tabasco.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium low.
- Simmer at a barely breaking boil for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove bay leaves.
- When beans are tender, mash them against the side of the pot with a spoon or pulse with an immersion blender until about half of the beans are broken and the liquid is thin, but creamy.
- Add the sausage and continue to cook on low for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- Serve over cooked white rice with hot sauce on the side.