Sunday, September 13, 2015

Red Beans and Rice

I made this yesterday (12 Sep 2015) using Emerl's recipe for a rotation group dinner.

My changes are in { }

1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over  {I had Salvadorian red beans in the pantry}
3 tablespoons bacon grease {I used olive oil}
1/4 cup chopped tasso or chopped ham {I had regular thick sliced ham}
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers  {I don't care for green bell peppers, so I used red}
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley {I used dried, but next time I'll use fresh}
2 teaspoons fresh thyme  {ditto like the parsley}
1/2 pound smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces {beef smoked sausage}
1 pound smoked ham hocks
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock, or water  {I used low sodium chicken broth}
4 cups cooked white rice {Cooked with chicken broth}
1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)

Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions. 
This came out great. The ham hocks really gave it a good flavor.  I did have to add about a cup of water (1/2 cup at a time per the instructions) so that it didn't get to thick and dry.

I combined the beans and rice into a large pot for the rotation dinner for ease of transportation.