I'm doing Community Bible Study this year and every month at our monthly group luncheons we exchange recipes with one another. It is so fun! Last month I was given (and tasted) this recipe and it is so good! I tried it myself this week and Daniel loved it. Always a plus. So here it is.
Red Beans and Rice
1 pound small, dried red beans, rinsed and sorted
3 tablespoons of bacon grease (I didn't have any so I used olive oil)
1/4 to 1 cup of chopped ham (If you have any. Again, I didn't have any of this and it tasted fine)
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
3/4 cups celery, chopped
3/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped (I used dried parsley and used less)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme)
1 pound of smoked sausage cut in 1 inch pieces
1 pound of ham hocks (I didn't know what this was and didn't have time to look for it, so I didn't use it and it tasted fine)
3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
10 cups of chicken stock or water
4 cups of cooked rice (I used brown rice because I like it. But any rice would be fine)
-Soak beans covered in water in pot (8 hours or overnight). Drain and set aside
-In a large pot, heat the bacon grease (or oil) over medium high heat
-Add ham, onions, celery, and bell peppers
-Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring until veggies are soft
-Add bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage and ham hocks. Cook for 5 minutes
-Add garlic, beans, and stock or water. Bring to a boil.
-Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and starting to thicken. About 2 hours. (If beans become too thick and dry, add more water about 1/4 cup at a time).
-Remove from heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot.
-Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy - 15-30 minutes.
-Remove frm heat and remove bay leaves
-Serve over fresh rice. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. I don't think it needed more salt (and I love me some salt), but it's up to you.
Enjoy! It's a little involved but so worth it! I served it with some garlic bread.