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Red Beans & Rice, adapted from The New Orleans Cookbook

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Joined: Dec 12, 2005


Posted to Thread #12667 at 1:29 am on Nov 18, 2008

By Rima and Richard Collin and augmented by the same recipe from The Frugal Gourmet. Read directions thru to the end. This is made in steps.

I've reduced the amount of beans and added a few extra ingredients. The Collin's used 2 pounds of beans for this recipe. I like beans, but not that much.

Night before:
Soak overnight 1 lb dried red beans covered in cold water
[the book specifies red (kidney) beans which I despise. Instead, I use either dried adzuki or little red beans, whatever they are. Please, I beg of you, if they are baby kidney beans, DO NOT TELL ME.]

Next Day: Saute
1/4 pound salt pork, diced
2 cups chopped onions
3 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 C chopped green pepper
1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic

1 lb. baked ham, diced into 1" chunks (do NOT use country or smoked ham...flavor is too intensive.)
1 large ham bone with meat on
soaked beans

Dry spices:
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried basil

Liquid spices (at end):
1 Tbl honey
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
large shot of Tabasco
4 Tbl margarine (**long paragraph in the book about the authenticity of using margarine rather than butter. I've used both and both work. But I keep a box of margarine in the freezer for this dish alone.)

Test seasoning at the end. Their recipe adds "1 Tbl of salt" which I think is insane when ham, salt pork and ham bones are already involved. Judge for yourself, but add at the end.

1. Saute onions, celery, & pepper in salt pork for 3-5 minutes, or until wilted. Add garlic and dry spice seasonings and saute another 30 seconds.
2. Add drained soaked beans, ham cubes and ham bone to heavy 8 qt pot and then add enough cold water to cover (appr 2 qts)
3. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer over low heat for 2.5 to 3 hours. Stir every half hour to avoid sticking. A thick gravy will develop. If it's too thick, add another cup of water.
4. At the end, add honey, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and margarine (or butter). Taste for seasoning

Serve ladled over boiled white rice. But do not add the rice INTO the beans and gravy, as it will absorb all the moisture.

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