Red beans and rice, originated in Louisiana and in the old South, was typically made on Monday’s. This is because on Sunday there was usually a big supper after church and it usually included ham or beef which gave left over bones and a bit of meat. Monday was typically wash day. Of course, back then they didn’t have washing machines so washing clothes took a great deal of time between using a washboard and tub, then ringing the clothes and finally hanging them. Supper needed to be something that didn’t take a great deal of attention, hence, Red Beans & Rice!
I know these days we don’t have to do laundry the old fashioned way, however, there are still some traditions that hold in many families. For me, I grew up in an Italian family so we have a traditional Sunday Supper of Pasta, Sauce and Meatballs. Red Beans and Rice is often a Monday meal for my family.
This is fairly forgiving recipe. If you don’t have ham or ham hocks, don’t sweat it. Have ham but not smoked sausage, no worries. No bacon? Well my first question would be WHY?? (I thought everybody always had bacon) But, if you don’t have bacon, no big deal. I will say that you need to have at least one of these to add flavor but you can also add chicken for the protein.
This is one of those recipes that tastes better the longer you cook it. I usually put this on at about 6am and let it go all day. However, you are able to do this in about 4 hours if needed.
FYI, there is no need to pre-soak the beans and all of that nonsense.
We would love to hear about your traditions!!! Please comment and share!!!
Make it a great day!
- 1 pound of dried red beans
- 1/2 pound of bacon
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 2 large stalks of celery chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil (if not using bacon)
- 1 package (14 oz.) smoked sausage
- ham bone, ham hocks, ham chunks, or any combination
- 2 quarts of water
- 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- Kosher salt to taste, if needed – BUT ONLY AT THE END!
- Hot, cooked rice (I use a long grain, par boiled rice)
- Sliced green onion, for garnish
- Hot sauce for the table
Roughly cut bacon into 1 inch chunks, cook in large deep pot until almost crisp **See Picture Below**
Chop smoked sausage into 1 inch pieces
Add onion, green pepper, celery, garlic and smoked sausage into the bacon (do not drain off the bacon grease, if you did not use bacon you will use the olive oil to saute your veggies)
Rise and sort beans then add to pot
Add any ham, hocks or bones to the pot
Add pepper, basil and bay leaves to the pot
Add water and bring to a boil
Turn down to simmer and mostly cover with lid.
Stir occasionally and add a bit of water if needed.
It is done when the beans are tender. The longer you cook it the thicker it will become. If you want it to be thicker, take out about a cup of the beans and blend them in a food processor or blender, then add back to the pot.
About 10 minutes before serving, add butter. This adds a richness to the pot but if you are absolutely opposed to adding butter (I promise, I won’t judge) you can skip this step.
Scoop beans into a bowl and top with a helping of rice. Garnish with green onions and serve.
**How to Cook Bacon**