Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
Note: This makes a big batch – you can half it or put some in the freezer.
2 lbs. dried red kidney beans
½ lb. salt pork
6 fist-sized ham hocks (or more!)
15” pepperoni sliced and quartered in ¾” chunks
Hot Italian sausage links (Remove casing and brown separately. These will break up in the long process, but the flavor is terrific)
Kielbasa 3-10” lengths
3-4 3” onions, diced (2 cups of more)
4 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
1 ½ – 2 cups diced green peppers
1 ½ – 2 cups diced red bell peppers
2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 large cans whole, peeling tomatoes, put in the juice of only one can
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large can tomato sauce
4-6 pods garlic (if you use powder, cover the whole top with a layer)
3 Tablespoons Tabasco (or more)
½ teaspoon thyme
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons cumin
½ Tablespoon oregano (or more if you like)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
*Original recipe note: Be sure and taste during cooking and add more of this or that!
1. Wash and pick over the kidney beans.
2. Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover. Drain in morning.
3. Add salt pork and ham hocks and more water to cover and cook on medium heat for 1 ½ hours or until beans are beginning to soften – add more water if necessary.
4. Add vegetables, spices and sausages (if you’re suing the browned Italian sausages, don’t add these now – wait another hour). Cook at least for two more hours after adding vegetable – uncovered. I usually start cooking this late in the afternoon then cook it pretty much continuously until I go to bed.
5. Turn off stove, cover the pot and let it sit out overnight.
This is a 2 ½ day ordeal – soak it one night, prepare it the next night and serve it on the third night. I don’t refrigerate it at all until the third night.
6. Cook it for a couple hours more the next morning on low – before serving on the third night. If I’m home, I cook it on and off all that day especially if I need to boil off some liquid.
7. Serve over rice!