Saturday, February 7, 2009
Just so you know, they are delicious!
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 -1 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on your 'heat' preference
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. chopped or minced garlic
1-2 lbs. seasoning meat*
1 standard package of smoked sausage, sliced to your liking
1 lb package of dried red beans, preferably soaked overnight and drained
9-12 cups of water
1 tsp. salt
Heat the olive oil in a large, thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and bell pepper for about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cayenne, black pepper, thyme and seasoning meat (not the sausage) and saute for about another 5. Add the beans, garlic, and enough water to cover all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about two hours. Add water if necessary. Using your spoon and the sides of the pot, mash the beans. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1/2 an hour. Add the sausage and cook for another 1/2 hour. At this time, taste to see if salt is necessary. If so, add it to your liking. Cook for another hour, or until the beans are creamy. Again, stir occasionally and add water if it becomes too thick. The mixture should be creamy, almost like a thick soup. Remove bay leaves before serving over rice.
* seasoning ham, ham hocks, smoked turkey necks, pickled meat, pickled rib tips. When considering weight, take into account the weight of any bones. You want one pound of meat. Also, consider that some of this meat is fatter than others, with the turkey being the leanest, of course.
Many recipes include celery. I'm not fond of the taste of celery, so I didn't add it. Also, I can take or leave parsley and didn't add it this time simply because I was out. Play around with the onion and bell pepper, too. Just get in there and make it yours.
I know someone who added liquid smoke to their beans. They were delicious.
I like to eat my beans with hot sauce, and I use all different kinds. Today, I used Crystal Hot Sauce. For this dish, instead of my all time favorite rice, basmati, I use extra long grain white rice, preferably Uncle Ben's or Zatarain's. A nice piece of warmed French bread would be a perfect finishing touch. If French bread is not available, brown and serve type rolls will do nicely.
I hope you try this recipe, maybe adding your own special touches, and let me know how it turns out. As always, if you have any questions, comment or email me.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.