I had never had red beans and rice until I went home with my hubby. This recipe is a specialty of his mom’s and she was nice enough to pass along this recipe to me. We survive on this meal in the winter as it warms the house and our stomachs with spicy goodness. I have to admit that I also make this during the warmer months when I am seeking a comforting, full meal. It is also great as leftovers the next day. Set aside some time to make this meal and your stomach will thank you!
P.S. Sorry for the poor photo below. I was really excited and started eating before I remembered I needed to take a photo!
Red Beans and Rice
Adapted from my mother-in-law
1 pound dried small red beans, picked over and rinsed
1 large smoked ham hocks (optional- I usually only add if I have on hand)
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped (optional- I only add if I can find good looking peppers in the winter)
½ tsp of red pepper flakes
1/2-1 tsp. dried thyme
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Red pepper sauce to taste
2 smoked sausages, cut into 3-inch chunks
Water & Chicken Broth to fill pot
4 cups cooked rice (I always use brown rice)
Place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak the beans overnight in the refrigerator. (You can speed up by boiling 2 minutes in hot water and then covering and sit for an hour.)
Sauté the veggies and then sausage in a skillet with oil.
Drain the beans and put in pot with the ham hocks, adding just enough chicken broth and water to cover. Add the veggies, spices, garlic, and red pepper sauce and stir to combine.
Simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 1/2 hours or until the beans look like they are getting ready to burst. Stir occasionally making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Add more water during cooking if the mixture appears too thick or dry.
Mash about 1 cup of the cooked beans against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Toss in the sausages and cook to heat them through. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Serve over a bowl of rice!