On Mondays in New Orleans and its surroundings, red beans and rice is found on nearly every restaurant menu, as well as in nearly every school cafeteria, and on the dinner table in most homes. Years ago, Mondays were traditionally wash day, so busy homemakers were able to not only do laundry but also have a delicious meal simmering away on the stove, as red beans require little attention after everything is the pot. While washing and cleaning is no longer relegated to one day, the tradition of red beans and rice continues. And, just like every other Louisiana recipe, there is no set recipe for red beans and rice. My mom has always cooked the sausage along with the beans. I prefer to cook my beans with tasso, while cooking the sausage separately. Some people use salt pork, some people use smoked turkey legs, others use ham bones. Additionally, while sausage may be common, fried chicken or fried pork chops are absolutely delicious alongside a plate of red beans and rice. The brand of dried beans that I prefer and what I grew up eating is Camellia, they are the quintessential New Orleans red bean.
Red Beans and Rice Printable recipe
1 lb dried red kidney beans
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon dried summer savory
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb tasso or ham steak, 2" dice
1 lb hot smoked sausage or andouille
8 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Hot cooked rice
The night before you plan to cook the beans, empty the package into a large bowl and cover with tap water so that beans are totally submerged. Refrigerate overnight; drain before using, being sure to discard the water.
When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of both the oil and butter in a large shallow skillet.
Add tasso or ham, cooking for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring often.
Remove meat from skillet, and set aside.
Pour in remaining oil and butter, heating until butter melts.
Add onions, celery, peppers, and garlic, cook over medium heat until vegetables are wilted and golden.
Remove vegetables to a large Dutch oven; place skillet aside, but do not wash.
To the vegetables, stir in the drained beans, bay leaf, summer savory, thyme, reserved meat, and Creole/Cajun seasoning.
Add the water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
For creamy beans, after beans have been cooking for about an hour, remove one cup of beans, and mash with a fork, return to the pot and continue to cook for another hour or until beans are tender and creamy.
While beans are simmering, cook sausage by placing sausage in the large skillet used to cook the vegetables. Add enough 1 cup of water to sausage, bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook sausage for 20-25 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook over medium high heat, turning sausage over as it browns.
Serve sausage alongside beans and rice, and sprinkle with parsley and green onions, as well as hot sauce as desired.
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