It’s almost Mardi Gras time and what better way to celebrate than with some red beans and rice. You know the drill — soak the beans overnight, rinse, cover with water and boil for an hour or so. For this recipe we decided to use the bone from our Christmas ham instead of a ham hock to add some flavor and a little more meat content. The mix really comes to life when you add the andouille sausage, vegetables, and seasonings. Once this has been allowed to simmer for another hour the ham hock (or bone) is removed and the meat is finely diced and added back to the pot. Prepare this in advance and allow the flavors to develop overnight. Serve over rice and top with sliced green onions. And . . . don’t forget the hot sauce!
NEW ORLEANS CARNIVAL RED BEANS AND RICE (Serves 8-10)
- 1 cup kidney beans
- 1 cup small red beans
- 2 qt. cold water
- 1 meaty country ham hock (3/4-1 lb.)
- 1/2 lb. andouille or other spicy smoked sausage
- 2 c. fresh green peppers, chopped
- 2 c. fresh celery with leaves, chopped
- 2 c. fresh onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 t. salt or savory saltless spices
- 1 t. onion powder
- 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 t. fresh thyme
- cooked long grain rice
- Sort through and thoroughly wash beans. Soak beans four hours or over night in water to cover by 2 inches.
- Drain and rinse beans well. Place them in a large pot (6 qt. capacity) along with the 2 quarts of water and ham hock, Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour.
- Quarter the sausage lengthwise and slice into 1/4″ pieces. Add the sausage, green peppers, celery, onions, garlic, and seasonings to the beans. For best flavor, prepare vegetables and garlic just before adding them to the beans. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for an additional 1 hour. Add more water, if necessary.
- Remove bay leaves and ham hock onto a clean cutting board. Locate and discard all bones and fat. Dice meat fine and return to beans. For best flavor, refrigerate over night, you may serve it the same day.
- To serve, place 1/2-1 cup cooked long grain rice or cajun rice in serving bowls and top with our heated New Orleans Red Beans mixture. Garnish with chopped onions and plenty of hot sauce.
~ LeonardMountain.com ~