Red Beans and Rice

Sweet Daddy D's Red Beans and Rice
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Of all the great food and cuisines that identify New Orleans, nothing epitomizes the Crescent City culinary culture like red beans and rice. Once and always a Monday tradition, you can find red beans and rice in just about every restaurant, whenever you want it. This recipe produces creamy style red beans, but just like everything else in New Orleans, there are lots of variations out there.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
8People 15minutes 2 1/2hours 8hours
This Is What You Need
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This Is What You Do
Preparation
  1. Soak dry beans in cold water overnight.
  2. Get all the ingredients you'll need together and prepped; set a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid on the stove.
  3. Chop up all your veggies and set aside; Slice sausage into medallions and set aside; Mix the Herb and Spice blend in a small bowl and set this aside also.
Cook 'em Up
  1. Sauté the sausage over medium high heat in the Dutch oven you will use to cook the beans. Once the sausage is browned and some fat is rendered, remove the sausage from the pan and set aside, leaving all the rendered fat in the pan.
  2. Drain the beans and discard the soaking water. Add the soaked beans, the seasoning meat and the bay leaves to the pot and add enough cold water to cover the beans by about an inch; bring to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer for an hour. Stir occationally.
  3. After an hour simmering slowly, add the chopped veggies, the sausage and about 2/3 of herb and spice blend without salt (reserving the remainder) to the pot and stir well to mix everything together. If needed, add a little more water to keep the beans just covered. Continue to simmer under medium-low heat uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir often so they don't stick.
  4. After the 30 minutes uncovered, stir well, lower heat and cover the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir often because the beans will want to stick to the pot.
  5. After 30 minutes covered, remove the cover and simmer over low heat until the beans are soft and creamy-this should take about 30 minutes but may take up to an hour. Stir often so they don't stick. Add a little more water if they are getting too thick.
  6. Once the beans are as creamy and tender as you like them- turn off the heat, remove the seasoning meat from the pot (if it has bones); take the meat off the bones and return the meat to the pot. Now is the time to taste for seasoning and salt. Start with about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, stir well and taste. If you think the beans could use more seasoning, add some or all of the reserved Herb and Spice Blend, salt and/or ground black pepper.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice.
Quick Review of the Time
  1. As far as the cooking time, it will vary with the beans, but here is a summary: 1 Hour covered with just beans, seasoning meat, bay leaves and cold water covering beans; 1/2 hour uncovered after adding veggies, spices and sausage; 1/2 hour covered; Final 30 minutes to an hour uncovered.
Recipe Notes

Note on salt: Kosher salt to taste-but only at the end-it is recommended not to salt beans until after they are cooked.  Most commercial creole seasoning has salt as doers most seasoning meat. These factors will impact the amount of salt you want to add, so you'll want to wait to see how the flavor is after cooking for a while. 

Note on seasoning meat: The best thing to use is a ham bone left over from a smoked picnic ham. If you don't have that, smoked ham hocks or smoked turkey necks will work well. If you can't find any of that, some chunks of ham with fat on will suffice but if possible get something with a bone. Using something smoked will add a nice, subtle smokiness to the flavor.

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