I doubled the recipe, and it’s enough to feed us once a week for the next 6-8 weeks, in addition to leftover lunches. Those tiny portions are for my toddler.
Here’s the recipe. It’s my grandmother’s recipe that originated at Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans. With this version of my grandmother’s recipe, there’s no need to soak the beans overnight. Be sure to start cooking early–the beans take a long time to cook, but most of the time is spent simmering, so while it does take a long time to cook, there’s not a lot of hands-on time.
June’s Red Beans and Rice
1 bag of dry red beans
1 c. onion
1/2 c. bell pepper
1 c. celery
1 ham hock
1 pound of sausage, preferably a cajun sausage, such as Savoie’s, Richard’s, or Manda.
1 stick of butter
1 tablespoon of dry parsley
Put the first 6 ingredients into a large pot. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Boil and then reduce to a simmer for an hour and a half (or longer!), until the beans are tender enough to mash one with a fork. Lower heat and add one stick of butter, cooking until the butter is melted. Stir gently. The red beans should have developed a bit of a gravy. If they haven’t, remove a cup or so of beans and mash, then return them to the pot and stir into the beans. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice.
If you double it, you only need one ham hock for the whole pot. You can also add three bags of beans when you double it instead of two to stretch the ingredients. Feel free to cut down on the butter. I did, and it was still yummy. Add just enough butter to make the gravy a nice texture. I also used one pound of turkey sausage and one pound of hot Savoie’s, and the difference was not noticeable at all and definitely reduced the overall fat content! And we use always use whole grain brown rice. I know that these are “cheats” to make it healthier, but we think it’s worth it, and the result is still fabulous.
These beans almost make you want to say BAM!, but since Emeril isn’t Cajun, maybe the beans will make you want to say “poo-yie” or “mais la” or something. And if you don’t know what either of those phrases mean, well I’m just sorry. That’s a different post entirely.