August 15, 2012

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

You can never go wrong with old fashioned beans and rice. This recipe kicks the flavor up a bit by using Cajun seasoning and adding smoked sausage. Enjoy!

1 lb bag dry small red beans
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 TBS minced garlic
2 large bay leaves
1 ham hock
2 TBS Cajun seasoning (I use Penzey's)
8 cups water
2 cups ham broth (or chicken broth)
1-2 tsp salt
8 oz smoked andouille sausage, roughly chopped
Hot, cooked brown rice for serving 

Pre-soak beans overnight or do a quick-soak* the day of. Drain the beans. Add the chopped yellow onion, chopped green pepper, celery, minced garlic, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves and ham hock in the same pot with the beans. Add water and ham broth to the beans.

Turn the heat to high and cover the pot with a lid, leaving about an inch open to let out steam. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.

After an hour and a half, stir in the salt and chopped andouille sauce. Simmer slowly for another hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

When the beans are done, the liquid should have gotten very thick (almost like a gravy texture) and the beans will almost look mashed. Remove the ham hock and the bay leaves and serve over hot brown rice. 

*In a large soup pot cover dried beans with triple their volume of cold water. Bring water to a boil and cook beans, uncovered, over moderate heat 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and soak beans 1 hour.

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