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Red Beans and Rice

Of all the great food and cuisines that identify New Orleans, nothing epitomizes the Crescent City like red beans and rice. This recipe produces creamy style red beans that are comforting and deliciosu.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: red beans and rice
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 379kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 1 pound dry kidney beans Soaked over night in cold water
  • Seasoning meat See Recipe Notes
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 medium green beel pepper chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery chopped
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic chopped

Herb and Spice Blend

  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons creole seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • To Taste kosher salt See Recipe Noptes

Long Grain Rice

  • 1 cup uncooked rice

Here's What You Do

Preparation

  • Soak dry beans in cold water overnight. (See Recipe Notes for alternate soaking methods)
  • Get all the ingredients you'll need together and prepped; set a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid on the stove.
  • Chop up all your veggies and set aside; Slice sausage into medallions and set aside; Mix the all the Herb and Spice Blend ingredients except the salt (see Recipe Notes) in a small bowl and set this aside also.

Cook 'em Up

  • Sauté the sausage over medium high heat in the Dutch oven you will use to cook the beans. Once the sausage is browned and the fat is rendered, remove the sausage from the pan and set aside, leaving all the rendered fat in the pan. About 5 to 7 minutes
  • Drain the beans and discard the soaking water. Add the soaked beans, the seasoning meat and the bay leafs to the pot with enough cold water to cover the beans by about an inch; bring to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer for an hour. Stir occationally.
  • After an hour simmering slowly, add the chopped veggies, the browned sausage and about 2/3 of the Herb and Spice Blend without salt (reserving the remainder) to the pot and stir well to mix everything together. If needed, add a little more water to keep the beans just covered. Continue to simmer over medium-low heat uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir often so they don't stick.
  • After the 30 minutes uncovered, stir well, lower heat, cover the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir often because the beans will want to stick to the pot.
  • After 30 minutes covered, remove the cover and simmer over low heat until the beans are soft and creamy-this should take another 15 minutes but may take up to an hour. Stir often so they don't stick. Add a little more water if they are getting too thick.
  • While the beans are simmering, cook the rice according to the instructions on the bag or box.
  • Once the beans are as creamy and tender as you like them- turn off the heat, remove the seasoning meat from the pot (if it has bones); take the meat off the bones and return the meat to the pot.
  • Now is the time to taste for seasoning and salt. Start with about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, stir well and taste. If you think the beans could use more seasoning, add some or all of the reserved Herb and Spice Blend, salt and/or ground black pepper.
  • Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice.

Quick Review of the Time

  • As far as the cooking time, it will vary with the beans, but here is a summary: 1 Hour covered with just beans, seasoning meat, bay leaves and cold water covering beans; 1/2 hour uncovered after adding veggies, spices and sausage; 1/2 hour covered; Final 15 minutes to an hour uncovered.

Notes

Prepare the beans for soaking by rinsing them with cold water in a colander. Remove any pebbles, weird-looking beans and anything else that is not a red kidney bean: 
Overnight soak. Place the dry beans in a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside for at least 8 hours. The beans will soften somewhat and get all crinkly. Some of the beans will float to the top, some people discard the floaters but I always use all of the beans. When you're ready to cook, simply discard the water and you are ready to go.  
Quick 3-hour method. Bring a pot of water to boil, add the beans and return the water to a boil.  As soon as it returns to a boil, remove the pot from the heat, cover the pot and let the beans sit and soak for about 3 hours. Then, just discard the water and they are ready. 
Quick 1-hour method. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the beans and return it to a boil for about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover the pot and let the beans sit and soak for 1 hour. Then, just discard the water and they are ready. 
Note on salt: Kosher salt to taste-but only at the end-it is recommended not to salt beans until after they are cooked.  Most commercial creole seasoning has salt as doers most seasoning meat. These factors will impact the amount of salt you want to add, so you'll want to wait to see how the flavor is after cooking for a while. 
Note on seasoning meat: The best thing to use is a ham bone left over from a smoked picnic ham. If you don't have that, smoked ham hocks, smoked ham shanks or smoked turkey necks will work well. If you can't find any of that, some chunks of ham with fat on will suffice but if possible get something with a bone. Using something smoked will add a nice, subtle smokiness to the flavor.
Note on Sausage: Using a nice smoked sausage will help impart a wonderful smoky flavor. Substituting Andouille Sausage will also give a nice smoky flavor but with a lot more spice.
Red Beans and Rice are a complete meal in themselves, but also go well with a lot of things-grilled smoked sausage, stuffed bell peppers, hamburger patties, pork chops, fried chicken, fried fish, meatloaf.... anything you can imagine.
I've been cooking my beans for hours and they are still hard! My first guess is that your beans are too old. The freshness of dry does beans matters, but they should last 2 to 3 years stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature in an airtight, sealed package. If the dry beans develop an odor or mold, it’s time to toss them. Another issue may be the altitude affects the cooking time of beans.  If you want to nerd out on all things beans, check out my article Do You Soak Your Beans Before Cooking? 
Leftover cooked beans can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Place the cooled beans in a shallow, airtight container within a couple of hours after cooking. Reheat in the microwave or saucepan, adding a little water to thin them out, if needed. 
To freeze leftover beans, place them in a shallow, airtight container and into the freezer within 2 hours of cooking. They should last about 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or microwave. 
Cooked white rice can be frozen if placed in an airtight container (using a vacuum sealer is optimal) for up to 6 months. You can reheat rice on the stove or microwave, just add a little bit of water to it while you reheat. 

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 655mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g

This recipe came from First...You Have a Beer (www.firstyouhaveabeer.com). If you like it, please leave a 5 star rating and a comment on the site and, most importantly, SHARE it with your friends.