There are certain dishes that seem so cozy and simple that finding a good recipe should be a no brainer. However, in recent years I’ve found that these are often the dishes that can be the most disappointing. I’ve been on a slow hunt for a collection of perfect, staple recipes for some of my favorite dishes. Some, I’ve found (like my bolognese). Others, I’m still searching for.
Well, consider my search for the perfect red beans and rice officially over.
This glorious recipe (which I will copy in perfect, untouched glory), is all that I dreamed of and more. The ONLY thing that I did differently (and I do recommend if possible) is use pork neck bones instead of ham hocks, because that’s what the local pig farmer had on hand. At the end of the cooking process we removed the bones, shredded the meat off of them, and stirred the meat back in. Josh compared the neck meat to braised beef short ribs (which we love).
Honestly though, just following this recipe will still result in extreme deliciousness, and might just result in you dreaming of leftovers while at work. Every day. Until it’s all gone.
Red Beans and Rice (from here)
- 1 lb bag dry small red beans
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 ham hocks (about 1 lb)
- 2 tsp Creole seasoning (I love Tony Chachere’s)
- 2 tsp original Tabasco sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- 8 oz good quality smoked andouille sausage, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dry rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
The night before, rinse the beans under cold running water and then place beans in a large pot. Cover with cold water and let soak overnight.
In the morning, drain the beans. Add the chopped yellow onion, chopped green pepper, celery, minced garlic, Creole seasoning, bay leaves and ham hocks in the same pot with the beans. Cover with fresh water about three inches above beans (I used a five quart pot and pretty much filled the thing to the top with water).
Turn the heat to high and cover pot with lid, letting about an inch open to let out steam. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
After an hour and a half, stir in Tabasco sauce, salt and chopped andouille sauce. Simmer slowly for another hour, stirring often at this point.
When the beans are done, the liquid should have gotten very thick (almost like a gravy texture) and the beans will almost look mashed. Remove the ham hock and the bay leaves and turn off the heat. Cover the pot again while you prepare the rice.
To make the rice, boil the rice, water and salt together. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork when done and serve with the beans with additional hot sauce on the side.