Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

A few weeks ago I had a craving for Red Beans and Rice, which is odd considering that I had not made it before, except from a box many years back. So I looked for a recipe on Mary's blog where she has all things southern and Cajun. I was not disappointed as it is so good! I've made Red Beans and Rice twice now, and it has been deliciously spicy and full of flavor. I found that I can handle more pepper than I thought I could. I used a ham bone that I had left over from Christmas, stored in the freezer. This gave a wonderful, smokey flavor to this dish, more so than just using ham pieces. Ham hocks would be a good choice to use also. Here's how I made it;
adapted from Deep South Dish
1 ham bone with ham cut off in pieces, or some diced ham, or ham hocks
1 package (14 ounces) Hillshire Farms Beef Sausage
1 pound dried small red beans (store brands were all that I could find)
2 tablespoon oil, or bacon grease
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon, or more of cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper to taste
salt if needed (you'll get lots of salt from the meat)
2 quarts, or more water
cooked rice
1. Sort through the beans and remove any dirt or debris. Place in a soup pot and rinse with water. Drain. Add fresh water to the pot and bring the beans to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and cover. Let set for 1 hour. Drain well.
2. In the soup pot, heat the oil or bacon grease over medium high heat. Add the diced onions, bell pepper, and celery to the pot. Stir and cook until softened. Add the sausage and ham, if using and stir and brown lightly. Stir in the garlic, basil, thyme, cayenne and black pepper. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add the drained beans and the water to the pot with the vegetable meat mixture. Add in the ham bone and simmer until done, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until beans are tender. I added the cooked ham the last 30 minutes of cooking. Taste, and add salt if needed. When I used the ham bone and smoked sausage, I did not need any additional salt. Serve over hot cooked rice and a pan of hot, crusty cornbread fresh from the oven. Enjoy!
NOTE: You need to make sure beans do not get too dry while cooking. Add more water if necessary.
The first time I made this, I used less water, but my family wanted more broth, so, this time I have more broth to make them happy.


  1. Oh my goodness those sure look good & now ya got me craving some! You cannot beat red beans with a ham bone I tell ya. Thanks for featuring my beans, they look great. Check out that shortcut recipe sometime too - it's great in a pinch and tastes amazing for a shortcut version. Yum!

  2. How very delicious - beans and rice are such a grand combination. So warming for February.

  3. Mary, my family really enjoyed this meal! I forgot to mention that you also have a shortcut version; I'll have to try that sometime!

  4. Now this is a hearty, comforting and delicious dish!

  5. Lynda, that is one spectacular looking bowl of Red Beans & Rice! Perfect meal for these late winter days. Thanks for sharing this terrific recipe...

  6. Your red beans and rice look delicious. This is a totally different method - maybe I'll shake things up and give it a try!

  7. Lynda, I agree with Katherine. Totally different from the way I usually make them. Mine are always much less soupy. I just want a piece of buttered french bread to dip into those lovely juices in your bowl there. I have to try this recipe next time I make this. I can only make it once in a while cause Mike isn't a big fan.

  8. Looks fabulous... sorry I haven't been around for awhile, I moved to the US Virgin Islands (I still giggle when I say that) for six months, and it is taking awhile to get settled. But i do think I am caught up, and will be back with new postings...

    Come take a look at my new blogs of Island life!

    i made a version of this for mardi gras, and it is just as good as you say... great tradition, and love your recipe

  9. hello, ham hock.
    what a flavorful batch of beans and rice this must be, lynda--i'm sure it hit the spot quite nicely!

  10. Lynda, that is one fabulous look bowl of red beans and rice. I can see why you have made it wtice already. Love it!

  11. Your beans and rice look absolutely delicious. I'll have to give them a try.

  12. I've never made red beans & rice. These look really good!

  13. That is one great looking dish. Looks delicious.

  14. Although I love spicy food I tend to veer more towards Indian cuisine, I haven't eaten much Cajun food, but this does look and sound sensational.

  15. Oh my gosh I just want to unhinge my jaw and take in big mouthfuls of this. It looks soooooo doggone good!!


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