Red Beans and Rice

Favorite hearty southern dish just right for this cool fall weather!

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves: 8

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Dietary guidance: n d 

Tags: ham · red · rice · beans · slow · hearty · creole · cook · cajin ·

Ingredients

1 lb. dry small red beans
1 1/2 to to lb. meaty ham shanks
4 c. water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped bell pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's or Zatarains) or to taste
Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Cooked rice

Method

1. Place dried beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water by a couple of inches. Let soak 8 hours or overnight. (You can quick soak them by putting them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them, covering them by 2 inches, then letting them soak for two hours.) Drain.

2. Place beans, ham shanks, garlic, chopped onion, and water in a large (8-quart) pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

3. Remove ham shanks from the pot to a dish. Let cool slightly, then shred the meat away from the bones. Return meat to the pot. Add celery, bell pepper, Worcestershire, and seasonings. Cover and cook for another hour or until the mixture gets thick. Season to taste with hot sauce, sale, and pepper.

Serve over rice

Makes 8 servings

NOTE:
I sauteed the onion in bacon grease until it began to get translucent, then added the minced garlic. After a few minutes I added the ham shanks, sauteing them for 2-3 minutes. I then added strong chicken broth (instead of water). Moved the first 5 ingredients to the crock pot and cooked for 6-8 hours. Next I added the chopped celery and green pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun spice, hot sauce, about a tsp. of liquid smoke, salt & pepper. Finally, I put in 1/2 lb. sliced and chopped smoked sausage (see Step 3).

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