We made this last Saturday for the first time in years. We can't figure out why! We'll be making it more often, it was so yummy! This is Emeril Lagasse's recipe, and from his book "Louisiana Real & Rustic."
"Monday wouldn't be Monday in Louisiana without red beans and rice. Legend has it that since Monday was traditionally wash day, an all-day affair before electric washers and dryers, a pot of red beans spent the morning simmering on the back of the stove. If there was a ham bone left over from Sunday's diner, it was thrown into the pot of beans. The marrow from the cracked bone and a good amount of herbs and spices made the beans tasty; long cooking made them tender and creamy. When the laundry was done, so were the beans. Red beans ladled over fresh steamed rice with a pile of french bead for sopping up every last drop, this is the dish and the day of the week that transplanted Louisianians miss most. Don't fret if you don't have a ham bone; substitute some smoked sausage."
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 pound boiled ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 ounces smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over, soaked overnight and drained
3 Tbs chopped garlic
8 to 10 cups water
steamed white rice
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, jam and sausage and saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the bean and garlic and enough water to cover the contents in the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Add more water if the mixture becomes dry and thick.
2. Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side of the pot. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the misture is creamy and the beans are soft. Add more water if it becomes too thick. The mixture should be soupy, but not watery.
3. Remove the bay leaves and serve over steamed rice.
Jeff said that they had this nearly every day on the mission. Yes, it is a bit crazy to tend to it for 4 hours, but On Saturday, when we were cleaning, it worked perfectly! When we made it, we had a whole pound of sausage, and added more onions and bell peppers, and right when it was done, Jeff stirring in a shot of Tabasco sauce.