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New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

Traditionally, this dish was served on Mondays in New Orleans, both to utilize any ham bones left over from Sunday’s dinner and because it required little attention while cooking. Thus, it freed up the lady of the house for the other chores at the week’s start. Here we use a ham shank, and layer the depth of flavor with the addition of tasso ham and andouille.

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (454 g) dried red kidney beans
  • 2 T (29 g) bacon drippings or butter
  • ½ lb (227 g) andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch-thick (25-mm) slices
  • ½ lb (227 g) smoked beef sausage, cut into ½-inch-thick (12-mm) slices
  • 2 med yellow onions, diced
  • 2 T (19 g) garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 T (7 g) Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp (2½ g) black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper
  • 2 C (473 ml) low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • 6 C (1420 ml) water
  • 1 ham shank
  • 6 oz (170 g) tasso ham
  • 1 T (2½ g) thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sm yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 med green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 3 C (483 g) cooked white rice, hot

Garnish:

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • Crystal Hot Sauce to taste

Directions

Rinse and sort beans. Place in a large bowl, cover with water to 2 inches above level of beans; let soak overnight. The next day, cook bacon drippings and sausages in a stockpot over medium heat until lightly browned. Add onions, garlic, Creole seasoning, and black and red pepper; stir to combine. Cook until onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add chicken broth, water, ham shank, tasso, thyme and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Drain soaked beans; add to stockpot. Boil 5 minutes, reduce heat to low; simmer 2-3 hours or until soft. Remove ½ C (120 g) of beans from pot and mash into a purée; return to pot, stirring to combine. Remove ham shank, shred meat, discard bone and return meat to stockpot. Remove and shred tasso; reserve; discard bay leaves. Stir remaining onions, pepper and celery into rice.

Plating: Serve about 1 C (240 g) beans with ¼ C (40 g) rice, garnishing with shredded tasso and green onions; offer hot sauce to taste.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes.
  • Soak time: Overnight.
  • Cook time: 3 hours.
  • Makes 10 servings.