Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Red Beans and Rice

With the weather getting cooler, my mind turns to soups and other comfort foods. This recipe for Red Beans and Rice is really delicious and it makes enough for leftovers or to freeze for future meals.

1 pound dried red beans, soaked overnight (see comments below)
3-4 tbsp. bacon fat
1 medium to large onion, diced
1 medium to large green bell pepper, diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
1/2 to 1 tsp. sea salt or Real salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Up to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 lbs. cooked ham, diced
4-6 links (about 12 oz.) Andouille sausage
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dried basil
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
9-10 cups stock (pork or chicken preferred) or broth/ water
4 cups cooked rice
How To:
1. In a large pot, sauté onion, pepper, and celery in bacon fat. Season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper and cook about 5 minutes stirring. Mix in the ham, sausage, thyme, bay leaves, basil, and parsley and cook another 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring.
2. Add the beans and stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low/ medium-low and simmer, uncovered for about two hours. Stir occasionally. You may need to add more water if the mixture loses too much.
3. Using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, mash about 1/4 to half the beans. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes to an hour (or two) until the beans are tender, adding more water if needed.
4. Remove bay leaves and serve over cooked rice.
This is delicious! Prep time is about 20 minutes and then cook time is anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. This recipe serves 8 and is great leftover. It is based on Emeril's Red Beans and Rice recipe, which is fantastic, but I made some changes due to convenience and other preferences.

Regarding the ham used in the recipe, I have a hard time finding a good, local source of pre-cooked ham. I can usually get a large bone-in uncooked ham from a farm nearby and I will cook that and then freeze leftovers for use in this recipe (and other recipes, like this one for Scalloped Potatoes or this one for Ham and Beans). Any type of ham will do and you could technically add cooked or uncooked pieces, whichever is most convenient, since the ham will be cut in small pieces and the cook time is so long. If you can't find a quality local source, US Wellness has this one. I have not tried their ham, but do purchase many other meats from them and have always been happy with their products.

Soaking: Place your dried beans in a non-reactive bowl (I just use a glass bowl) and fill with water and a tbsp. or so of an acidic medium, like whey, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice. Let sit in a warm place overnight and then rinse the next day before use. Make sure to include some head room as the beans will expand.

Some say that you should use baking soda to soak most beans. I have used both and, in my experience, the acidic medium and baking soda both seem to work about the same. For more information, follow link for help with soaking beans and be sure to read the comments.

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This recipe was shared at Thank Your Body Thursday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Fight Back Friday, Busy Monday, and Full Plate Thursday. Please follow the link for more great recipe ideas.


  1. Hi Linda,
    We love Red Beans and Rice, your recipe looks yummy! This is a fantastic recipe and thanks so much for sharing it with us. Hope to see you again real soon at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen


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