Red Beans and Rice
One of the great things about my time in New Orleans was the sense of tradition in which the city was steeped. Red beans are a prime example. Monday is red beans and rice day in New Orleans to this day and links back to Monday being a traditional laundry day and the beans being a largely hands-off dinner preparation. For me it was something we always looked forward to all week long and planned our group lunch around.
Traditionally, a ham hock/bone is added to the beans for added flavor in the broth. This typically adds great flavor, but are sometimes hard to find unless you had ham the night before and happen to have a bone or hock leftover. Commercial ham stock is typically way too salty to use here too, so we moved to smoked sausage and chicken broth because great chicken broth is widely commercially available and smoked sausage and bacon make a rich, full-flavored base in lieu of a good ham bone and some leftover ham. We call for poblano chiles in lieu of the traditional green bell peppers; feel free to swap them out as needed. Garlic is copious in our recipe. If you're not as big a fan of the bold garlic flavor here, pair it back to taste. Black pepper is not to be underestimated in this recipe. Grind it yourself and pick a good black peppercorn to start with. The difference is stark using pre-ground black pepper.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Red Beans:
- 1 pound dried red beans, soaked overnight, picked over for pebbles
- 1 pound bacon, diced small
- 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 pounds sweet onion, diced fine
- 12 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 3 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, chopped fine
- 1 cup celery, chopped fine
- 12 cups chicken broth, low sodium
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 Tablespoons Casa M Spice Co® Uncontrolled Chain Reaction®
- 1 Tablespoon Casa M Spice Co® Uncontrolled Cattle Drive®
- salt or Casa M Spice Co® Chain Reaction® to taste
Pulling it All Together:
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- Louisiana Hot Sauce
- fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, diced
- green onions, chopped
Typically red beans are served with a relatively thin broth in New Orleans, but if you prefer a creamier, somewhat thicker broth, using a potato masher, mash some of the beans in the pot and mix them in.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Soak the beans overnight in a mixing bowl with at least 2 gallons of water.
To a large cast iron or other thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat add the bacon and cook turning as needed to brown on all sides. About 1/2 way through that process, add the smoked sausage to brown it as well.
Keep the heat where it is and add the onions, garlic, poblano, and celery and stir to combine and coat everything with rendered fat from the bacon and sausage. Cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes until the onions are translucent and the other vegetables are soft.
Carefully add the chicken broth and stir well. Add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and cook at a rolling boil for about 20 minutes.
Reduce the heat to simmer, then cover and let cook for 2 hours.
While the beans are simmering cook your rice.
The broth in the beans should be thin at this point. Taste it and season as needed with more black pepper and/or Chain Reaction®.
The thickness of the broth here is a personal preference. Typically red beans are served with a relatively thin broth in New Orleans, but if you prefer a creamier, somewhat thicker broth, using a potato masher, mash some of the beans in the pot and mix them in.
Serve over cooked white rice and garnish with a few splashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce, fresh jalapeno, and chopped green onion tops.