This creamy and flavorful red beans and rice recipe is meaty, perfectly spiced, and the ultimate comfort food. The hardest part of this Louisianna classic is the waiting.
In Louisianna, this dish was typically prepared on a Monday, which was laundry day. It’s a great recipe to make on a lazy weekend because it simmers for a couple of hours on the stove while you can snuggle under a blanket and read or binge-watch reality tv.
Red beans and rice are also a perfect ‘after the holiday’ recipe. You can save your holiday ham bone and leftover ham to make this dish as you chill and regroup on the sofa. How enticing does that sound?
My favorite way to serve this is in a shallow bowl, with a mound of steamed white rice, a side of grilled andouille sausage and a hunk of crusty Italian bread. Oh, so good!
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD:
- Be sure to rinse and pick through your dried red beans. Not only could they be a bit dusty, but there could be small bits of gravel or dirt mixed in with the beans.
- Take the time to render the fat from the Andouille and then allow it to brown. Those little brown bits on the bottom of the pan will add so much flavor.
- Don’t skimp on the aromatic vegetables. They are also adding another layer of flavor. Keep the dice very small so that they almost melt into the beans.
- The hambone adds a beautiful smokiness to the beans. You could also use a ham hock or a bit more of the diced ham. If your ham hock is smoked, be careful of the salt content.
- If you are using a Cajun seasoning, try to find one with no or little salt. The ham could be salty as well, so limit sodium in the other items.
- Don’t rush the cooking process. Allow the beans to simmer slowly and get very soft and creamy.
EQUIPMENT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
- Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Brushed Stainless 12-Quart Stockpot with Cover
- Calypso Basics by Reston Lloyd Powder Coated Enameled Colander, 5 Quart, Turquoise
- HOMWE 3-piece set, Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set) | BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe
Now, just what should you serve with this ultimate comfort food? Here are a few suggestions:Print
What’s better than a meaty, spicy, creamy bowl of red beans and rice on a winter’s evening? It is the ultimate comfort food!
1 pound dried small red beans (soaked in water 4 hours or overnight, Camellia brand preferred)
1 pound andouille sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch slices
2 medium onions, cut into fine dice
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, diced fine
1 medium hambone
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 bay leaves
½ pound ham cubes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning, if possible, get the low sodium type
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
4 tablespoon dried parsley
Sliced fresh scallions, for garnish
Place the dried red beans in a colander. Rinse and pick through to remove any tiny pebbles or broken beans. Cover with water and soak 4 hours or overnight. Set aside.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, brown the Andouille sausage until it releases it’s fat and begins to brown on the edges. Add the onions, celery, and red pepper. Stir to coat all with the sausage fat. Saute, stirring often, until the onions become translucent – about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain the soaked beans and place the beans in the stockpot with the vegetables.
Nestle the ham bone and bay leaves into the beans.
Pour the chicken stock over the beans.
Simmer the beans over medium-low heat until the beans soften (about 2 – 2 ½ hours).
Remove the bay leaves.
Test the beans for tenderness. Once they are al dente, remove about half of the beans to a large bowl. Use a potato masher or the back of your spoon to mash the beans. Stir the mashed beans back into the pot. The mixture should be thick like a stew, not soupy.
Remove the ham bone and discard. If there is meat on the bone, remove and dice. Add any meat back to the pot.
Stir in the diced ham, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, black pepper, cayenne, basil, sage, and parsley.
Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring very often to prevent sticking, for another hour. If the beans need more moisture, add a bit of water or chicken stock.
Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Serve hot with steamed rice and hot sauce on the side.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Simmr
- Cuisine: Cajun
Keywords: ultimate comfort food, Cajun recipes, Red beans and rice, ham recipes