I will not be able to concentrate on writing this post or recipe if I do not clear this out of my head – but a famous Sir Mix-A-Lot song keeps running through my head when I read red beans and rice in my head, the part about red beans and rice didn’t miss her……….. So there, I said it and I bet a few of you have that song running through your head now too don’t you? Sorry about that.
I am not from the New Orleans area and have only visited there. If it weren’t so stinking hot and humid there in the summer I might want to live there. I love New Orleans in the fall months. I am telling you all of this so that you will understand that I am not claiming that this is an authentic southern style red beans and rice recipe made in my grandmomma’s house in the deep south or even taught to me be anyone who lives even near the Mississippi Delta.
This a recipe that recreates for me what my mind remembers as one of the best rice and beans dishes I had ever eaten. I ate it in New Orleans but don’t ask me to tell you when or where. I used to travel with my job in my younger years, and New Orleans was frequently on my agenda.
I do not put any tomato products in my red beans and rice, but if you do, that’s OK. I used to make red beans that I served over rice for some of my Hispanic friends in Florida and it had all kind of things in it, like Sofrito and tomato sauce. To each their own. I will eat them this way, but prefer the no tomato way.
I like to use half Andouille, or another hot sausage, and half regular old smoked sausage all sliced into disks. Then I brown them off in a hot oven before simmering them in my liquid. I do not even start my beans until the liquid has been simmered and full of flavor.
Side note: If you find yourself with some hot sausage that is just sinus clearing hot, like I did today, use half if you prefer a milder version of red beans (like I do) and cut it into smaller dices after browning if desired to reduce the bite. I will also leave my Creole seasoning and ½ teaspoon this time.
I do not presoak my beans, I do not precook my beans. I allow them to cook fully in the flavored liquid. Some of the beans will break open and thicken the liquid. I like it this way. I have to admit I also make my ham and navy beans this way too.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice sausages into disks and place on a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Place sausages into heated oven and cook until sausages start to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir the sausages and continue baking until some of the sausage disks start to get crispy and dark brown. Another 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.
While sausages are cooking, add oil to large saucepan and heat to medium.
Add peppers, onions, and celery to pan and cook until they start to softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the cooked sausage to the pot and stir to combine with vegetables.
Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Add at least 2 liters of water to the pan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are soft, 60 to 90 minutes.
Bring back to a boil and add beans. Add more water to the pan if necessary to make sure liquid covers beans by about 2 inches. Once boiling, reduce heat back to a simmer.
Allow to simmer until beans are tender and cooked though, adding more water as needed to keep beans from drying out. Do not add to much water or will have red bean and sausage. This step may take 4 hours or more.
Serve over plain white rice, I prefer long grain white rice.