Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Red Beans & Rice

Generally speaking when asking a chef what their favorite meal to prepare is you're going to be told a dish comprised of exotic ingredients, and preparation methods that leave most scratching their head. After some serious thought on the subject I have concluded that my favorite dish to prepare is red beans and rice. That's not to say I don't enjoy cooking with some of the more exotic ingredients out there, but there's no other dish that puts a smile on my face in the kitchen like this one......


1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted
1/4 cup smoked bacon, chopped
1/2 pound andouille sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound beef smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ham hock
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onions
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock, or water
1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
4 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions, optional


Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside.

1. In a large pot, heat the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until it just starts to crisp. Do not remove grease when done. Add ham hock and brown.

2. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the bacon pieces in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)

5. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and starting to break down. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

6. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions, or chopped parsley

No comments:

Post a Comment