Another meat option is andouille sausage, which is a classic addition to red beans. You can either add it to the beans before they're done or serve the sausage on the side. Or, for meatier beans, brown about 1 cup of leftover diced ham and add it about an hour before the beans are ready. If you don't have a leftover ham bone, use one or two ham hocks or shanks (depending on size), or add some thick smoked bacon. Either addition will give you a rich, smoky flavor.'
To jazz the beans up a bit, add a teaspoon or two of Creole seasoning, to taste. Most Cajun or Creole seasoning contains salt, so taste the beans before you add any additional salt.
- 1 pound small dried red beans
- 1 large onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ham bone (with some meat)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Optional: 1 cup sliced or diced andouille sausage
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 to 6 cups hot cooked rice
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- Sort the beans, discarding damaged beans and any small stones you might find. Rinse them, put them in a large bowl, and cover with about 2 quarts of water. Let stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
- In the morning, drain the beans and transfer them to the crock pot.
- Peel the onion and chop it coarsely.
- Slice the bell pepper lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. Chop the pepper.
- Dice the celery.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the cooked vegetables to the beans along with the ham bone, minced garlic, and 1 1/2 quarts water. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
- Turn heat to low and cook, covered, for about 4 to 7 hours, or until the beans are tender.
- If desired, in a heavy skillet over medium heat, brown about 1 cup of sliced or diced spicy smoked sausage (such as andouille). Add it to the beans about an hour before they're ready.
- Remove ham bone and mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken the remaining liquids. Remove the meat from bone; dice it and return it to the pot of beans.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice as directed on the package.
- Season the beans with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon the beans and some liquid over servings of rice and sprinkle with chopped green onions.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||13 g|
|Saturated Fat||4 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||6 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|