My Latest Red Beans and Rice Recipe -- I have been
experimenting and I
think I have found the perfect recipe.
1 lb dried read beans
2 hickory smoked ham hocks
8-10 cups water
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
5 cloves of garlic
1 heaping teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning (You should be able to
detect a change in the smell after adding the Seasoning.)
2 tsp Lea and Perrine's Worcestershire sauce
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into big chunks
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic diced
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups rice, cooked
Preparation of the beans:
Wash and sort the beans. Cover the beans with water and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from
the heat an let the beans soak for at least 1 hour. Even if you plan to soak the beans
overnight, this method keeps the beans from souring. This short-soak method helps retain
the vitamins, cuts cooking time considerably, and produces beans with fewer hard skins
than those soaked overnight. (Add the salt only at the point the beans are
almost cooked. Salt has a
tendency to toughen the beans which causes them to take longer to cook.)
When boiling the beans in the short soak method add 1 tbsp. bacon grease or
butter, a piece of slab bacon, or seasoning ham with some fat on it in order to
prevent the beans from boiling over..
One cup of dried beans yields, depending on the variety and size of the
beans, 2 to 2 3/4 cups cooked beans. Nutritionally, beans are high in protein,
but they require the addition of rice to be a complete protein.
After beans have been soaked:
In a large pot place the ham hocks, water, tomato sauce, seasoning, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce,
and beans. Cook, uncovered, over low heat. In a skillet
sauté the sausage until the grease is rendered. Transfer the sausage to the bean pot. To
the grease in the skillet add the onion, and garlic and sauté until soft. Pour
this mixture into the bean pot. Add the bay leaves, salt, and pepper and continue cooking
for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the beans are soft and creamy. Add the water while cooking
if necessary. Remove the bay leaves and add the parsley. Serve the beans over the rice.
TIPS FOR COOKING BEANS:
You can't have a thick enough pot. I even
put a 1/4 inch piece of steal plating beneath my bean pot. Because of the
plating I can really cook my beans until they are tender without them sticking.
You can't be in a hurry. Slow is always
better. The only difference often between good beans and bad ones is the
amount of time on the stove.
Keep tasting to insure a good pot. Most
people don't understand that cooking a recipe is not like mixing chemicals to
make a serum. Every pot of beans is difference, and the seasoning will
always have to be adjusted to make the pot taste right.