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Red Beans and Rice

Serves 8     adjust servings

Have you ever had traditional Red Beans and Rice? It's a southern staple! I tried Popeye's Red Beans and Rice for the first time a while back, but these beans are even better. They are so creamy and flavorful, with the perfect smoky Cajun spice! 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • about 7 cups water
  • 1 pound dry red beans, rinsed*
  • meaty ham bone or ham hock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6-8 cups hot cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Prep your veggies: chop the onion, bell pepper, and celery. I like to chop the ends of the celery (so that some of the leaves get chopped also) instead of pulling off the stalks. Whichever way you choose will work!
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Once it is hot and shimmering, add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery. Saute for 6-8 minutes, until the onions start to become translucent.
  3. Mince the garlic. In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, Cajun seasoning, and sugar.
  4. Add the garlic and spices to the pot and saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon Better That Bouillon Chicken Base
  6. Add about 7 cups of water and 1 pound of rinsed red beans. Add the ham bone or ham hock. Add the bay leaves.
  7. Stir it all together over high heat until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, so that it is just barely bubbling. 
  8. Cover with a lid and keep it at a low simmer for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours. About halfway through the cooktime, either remove the lid or tilt it so that the beans can vent. 
  9. 30-60 minutes before the beans are done, add 1-2 teaspoons salt. 
  10. After 2-3 hours, taste the beans. They should be tender and flavorful. If they are at all dry or chalky, keep cooking. 
  11. Add salt to taste. Add more Cajun seasoning to taste. 
  12. Remove the ham bone and bay leaves. Chop any meat left on the bone and return the meat to the beans. Discard the bone. 
  13. Serve with hot rice. See notes for a basic recipe.

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