Whew…what a week it has already been! I worked this past weekend, while also attempting to join my friends for bachelorette party fun in the evenings. Maybe not the brightest idea I’ve ever had, but you do these things for the people you care about. Thankfully, I’ll have plenty of rest and relaxation time for the rest of the week. OR it will give me plenty of time to clean my house and work on more recipes 🙂
Today though, I’m giving you the run down on one of my favorite dishes. It’s an especially popular choice for people who like a bit of spice and live in the southern states. Red beans and rice are the ideal comfort food for a variety of reasons. 1) They are hot and soothing during any season. 2) They balance protein and carbs perfectly so you feel good about yourself. 3) They’re delicious!
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I love to drive down the road and grab this delicious dish to avoid dicing up the ingredients. It’s sooooo much more satisfying when you make it yourself though. Right? I’m imagining you all nodding your heads along with me as you read this. Let’s not waste any more time talking about how delicious it is though, and let’s dive right in!
I’ll admit the first couple of times I made this recipe, I just threw stuff in the pot and didn’t measure it out. Well, that doesn’t usually help with forming an actual recipe does it? No. It definitely does not. I FINALLY wrote down.
First off, prepare your beans. I just grabbed a one lb bag like the one seen above and did the quick soak method. During that one hour that the beans are soaking, you can start to prepare all of the other ingredients. Might as well keep the momentum going! If your sausage was in the freezer like mine was, now would be a good time to get that thawing out also.
Start with chopping up the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, sausage, and honey ham. I know…that seems like a lot of chopping. Just do what I do and grab a hungry friend to help you out! Particularly a friend who knows how to safely use a knife. Oops, I think I just let my nurse show. Oh well! Safety is important! Anyway…back to chopping. I usually like to dice up my onion and celery in similar sizes, but I like to keep my bell pepper in slightly larger chunks. View my picture below of everything chopped up as an example.
Once you’ve got all the goods prepped, go ahead and get your go-to large stock pot out. Put the two tablespoons of olive oil in the pot and crank it up to medium-high heat. Once you’ve let it heat up for a couple of minutes, dump all of the chopped up ingredients in the pot. I know you’re wondering why you are already putting the meat in, right?? Don’t worry, because I would be asking myself the same thing. You are already putting it in so the meat can get a nice crisp to it! Let those ingredients cook down for 3 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium and let it cook for 5 minutes. Make sure you stir it occasionally so it will cook evenly.
Next you will pour in your 6 cups of chicken stock and the 1 lb of soaked beans. Give it a quick stir. Turn down your heat on the stove. Grab all of the seasonings seen above and toss them in as well. Your beans should be at a simmer at this point.
Leave your pot simmering for an hour and a half without the lid on, stirring occasionally. Once you’re approaching the end of the cook time, get your favorite rice prepared. I photographed with white rice, but I honestly usually use brown rice when I’m at home. The choice is yours! Trust me, don’t wait for these babies to cool down before you dig in.
Red Beans & Rice with Sausage
yields: 4-6 servings prep time: 1 hour cook time: 1 1/2 hours
- 1 lb red kidney beans (soaked and strained)
- 14 oz sausage link (I used jalapeno sausage for some spice), chopped
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3/4 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 of one red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup of chopped honey ham
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme*
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley*
- 1/4 teaspoon basil*
- 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* If you use fresh herbs, keep in mind the amounts will differ from above
- While doing the quick soak method on your red beans, chop up all of your other ingredients. Beans will soak for one hour.
- Put two tablespoons of olive oil in a large stock pot then turn on stove to medium high heat. Once warmed up, dump the onion, celery, garlic, bell pepper, ham, and sausage in. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn down to medium heat and cook 5 more minutes.
- Strain your soaked beans, then dump beans in pot.
- Pour the 6 cups of chicken stock in, then give a quick stir.
- Place all of the seasonings into the pot and give it a stir. Turn the heat down and make sure the pot is simmering, not boiling.
- Cook for 1 1/2 hours on simmer, stirring occasionally. Keep the lid off of the pot during this entire cook time.
- Serve on your favorite rice!