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5 from 1 vote

Red Beans and Rice

Thick and creamy Red Beans and Rice with smoky Andouille sausage, fall apart ham hock, aromatics, a kick of spice and fresh herbs. So much flavour! Some of the best comfort foods come right out of New Orleans, with Red Beans and Rice being right up there as the PERFECT comfort food. Serve with fresh cooked rice and a hot skillet filled with cornbread.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 serves
Calories: 931kcal
Author: Karina

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (500g) dried red beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 13 ounces (350g) Andouille sausage, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups chopped)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
  • 1 large celery rib, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 meaty smoked ham hock or ham shanks, (about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds, or 600g-1 kg)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse beans then soak in a large bowl with water overnight. When ready to cook, drain the soaked beans, give them a rinse and set aside. 
  • Heat oil in a large heavy based pot over medium-high heat. Fry sausage until slightly browned while stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  • Season with tomato paste, Italian herbs, paprika, cajun seasoning, cumin, paprika, cayenne and thyme sprigs. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for a further minute.
  • Add the ham hock, water and pre-soaked beans. Season with a pinch of salt to taste (only add about 1/8 teaspoon to start with) and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover pot. Let simmer while stirring occasionally so that the beans don't stick to the bottom of the pot, for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until beans are tender
  • Carefully remove ham hock and shred meat off the bone. Stir the meat back into the pot and discard bone.
  • Add parsley and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Taste test and adjust seasonings accordingly. Discard bay leaves and thyme. 
    Serve beans over rice with green onions and hot sauce (or Tabasco sauce).

Notes

TIPS
  1. Cover your beans with at least 2-3 inches of cold water overnight. 
  2. You can use canned beans if you wish, but they will not yield the same creamy results.
  3. Substitute water with chicken stock or broth if omitting ham hock.
  4. Andouille sausage is the best option in this recipe. It adds a kick of spice and smoky flavour.
  5. Add more stock or water if the beans become too dry. You want a nice, thick and creamy consistency, NOT watery.
CAN I COOK RED BEANS IN A CROCKPOT?
Absolutely! Grab your slow cooker and get it cookin'!
Brown sausage first for added flavour, then sauté the holy trinity. Transfer all ingredients (except parsley) plus an additional 2 cups of water to a 6-quart slow cooker bowl and cook on high heat for 6-8 hours. (There's no need to soak the beans when slow cooking).
HOW TO MAKE RICE
For 4-5 servings you need:
2 cups water
1 cup white long grain rice
1 tablespoon butter (life changing)
A large pinch of salt (1-2 teaspoons)
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add rice, butter and salt.
  2. Bring pan back to a simmer; lower heat, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until rice is fork-tender and water has fully absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for a further 5 minutes, then fluff up with a fork and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 931kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 2175mg | Potassium: 2156mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1398IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 10mg