This doesn't entail that this dish only be for those who's culture it is to eat red beans and rice, for today I will show you how to quickly and easily prepare a dish of red beans and rice that the whole family will enjoy.
A lot of the initial creations of the various red beans and rice recipes have simply been trial and error with various different ingredients in order to make the most delicious dish.
As such there are many variations of red beans and rice which you should try and feel free to experiment a little bit with the ingredients (but don't go too far) in order to create a dish that you love.
- 1 Pound of Kidney Beans
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 5 ribs celery, chopped
- As much garlic as you like, minced (I like lots, 5 or 6 cloves)
- 1 large smoked ham hock, 3/4 pound of Creole-style pickle meat (pickled pork), or 3/4 lb.
smoked ham, diced, for seasoning
- 1 to 1-1/2 pounds mild or hot smoked sausage or andouille, sliced on the bias
- 1/2 to 1 tsp.
dried thyme leaves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
- red pepper and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
It's best you have 2-3 days to prepare this meal, as it requires some early preparation and standing time before it should be served.
To start off with place the beans in a large bowl that easily holds them with room to spare.
Fill the bowl with water until the beans are covered in water plus about 1-1/2 inches of water on top of them.
Leave the beans to soak for about 8 hours or if possible leave them soaking overnight.
Soaking the beans not only makes them far better to eat, it stops them from causing so much flatulence from those who dine on this dish :).
After the beans have soaked for 8 or more hours, drain the water out of the pot and refill it with fresh water ensuring the beans are completely covered by the water.
Boil the beans for about 45-55 minutes until they are slightly tender but not falling apart.
While the beans are still boiling in the pot, sauté the onions, celery and ball peppers in a pan until the onions turn translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
After the beans have been cooked and the water drained, add the cooked vegetables to the beans in the pot, then add the ham and meat to the pot along with them, put all the seasonings into the pot and fill with just enough water to cover everything.
Bring this to the boil then leave to simmer for 2-3 hours or until it is nice and creamy, stirring every few minutes to ensure the food doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
If the beans are old (6 months or older) they most likely won't get creamy, the best way to overcome this problem is to take out about a cup of beans, mash them up, then re add them to the pot.
Once its cooked, to get the best flavor out of the mix...