Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Red beans and rice was one of my favorite comfort foods growing up in Louisiana. The red beans simmered for 3-4 hours with the ham (or smoked sausage), onions and spices. The result was a flavorful and slightly smoky gravy with red beans that is served over white rice and doused with plenty of hot sauce.
A couple of slices of crusty, warm garlic bread on the side and this dish will make you want to slap yo’ mama….or aunty or grandmammy! I have also enjoyed this dish with warm flour tortillas when I don’t have garlic bread on hand. LOL
I adapted this recipe for the Crockpot from an original authentic Louisiana recipe from the cookbook: Best of the Best from Louisiana: Selected recipes from Louisiana’s favorite cookbooks. This recipe is a keeper! It reminds me of home and it will be a great tailgating/football dish for those brisk days this fall and winter!
2 pounds dried red beans
1 meaty ham bone, or 1 ½ pounds ham chunks (Sliced smoked sausage can also be used instead of ham)
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste
Hot cooked rice for serving
Chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
Thoroughly wash the dried beans in a collander, removing any stems or other foreign matter. Place in a large Crockpot (mine holds 6 quarts).
To the beans, add 3 quarts water, ham, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and about 6-7 dashes of hot sauce. Be careful not to add too much salt because the ham is already salty (if you are using ham).
Simmer in the Crockpot on low for 10 hours, until beans are soft and the gravy is thick.
After mine cooked for 10 hours, I added about a cup of chicken broth and turned the Crockpot on high for about 30 minutes because a lot of the water had cooked away and it needed more of a gravy around it.
Served over cooked rice with Tabasco sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce on the side. Also, this dish tastes great with some chopped green onions sprinkled on top! Cheers!