Red beans and rice is a New Orleans classic. It’s one of those dishes that no two people make the same. I know folks who like to add smoked turkey (I use this when I make greens), salt pork, ham hocks, or bacon while the beans are cooking but will later add andouille sausage or smoked sausage when the dish is nearly done. Others add cajun seasonings or hot peppers to the mix. I use whatever is at hand, which may not be what I used the last time I made it. This version of red beans and rice is one that I picked up years ago when I lived near New Orleans.
My two grand kids love this dish. It’s so simple, too. If I’m busy, I put all of the ingredients in a crock pot and let them simmer all day. All I need to do then is make the rice.
Red Beans and Rice Recipe
- 1 pound dried red kidney beans
- 6 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 3 ribs of celery chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb smoked sausage
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon butter
Rinse beans, and then soak in water overnight in a large bowl or pot.
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, peppers, celery, and garlic until tender, about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
Rinse beans. In a large pot, add beans and 6 cups of water. Add cooked vegetables and thyme, sage, bay leaf, and salt.
Bring beans to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until beans are tender.
Add sliced sausage to the beans. Cover, and simmer for an hour longer. Add additional salt if needed.
While beans are simmering, cook rice. In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add butter, and let boil for 3 or 4 minutes. Cover, and remove from heat. Rice is done when all liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.