Feel like you’re in the heart of the French Quarter by making your own red beans and rice from scratch. Small red beans and spicy Andouille sausage simmered in ham hock broth Creole-style aren’t just for laundry day anymore!
I love making this recipe because it mostly cooks itself. I can see why Southern folks make this on laundry day, it so convenient. I also like that it has no tomato products in it.
Tomatoes really don’t belong in this Creole comfort food. I’ve eaten this dish too many times to count in Louisiana and I have never seen them used.
This was originally published on July 23, 2016.
This post contains affiliate links.
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS
- Ham Hocks – I use ham hocks for the flavor they add to the liquid before adding the beans. You’ll need 1 large or two small to medium hocks.
Folks in the South tend to pick the meat off of the ham hocks and add it to the dish. I do not.
If you want to skip the ham hocks I would suggest using chicken broth for at least half of the water or adding some ham bouillon.
- Sausage – I like lots of meat in mine. The best sausage to use is 12 ounces of Andouille and 12 ounces of smoked sausage. For a spicier dish use all Andouille and for more mild use all smoked sausage.
Beef, turkey, pork or any combination of meats in the sausage will work just fine.
You can also use less sausage if you wanted.
- Celery, Onions, and Green Pepper – You can omit any of them, just know that they really do add a nice flavor, there is a reason it’s known as the Holy Trinity in Louisiana cooking.
Red, yellow, or orange bell peppers can be used as a substitute for green.
- Spices – Andouille sausage adds a good amount of spice to this dish already, so I only use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of this seasoning for a full pound of dried beans. Much more than that and you will need to have milk handy to cool off your mouth.
Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning is my preferred choice. If you aren’t from the South, go easy with this seasoning as it is fairly spicy.
- Beans – I use the small dried red beans. These beans are smoother than red kidney beans cook a little bit faster, but kidney beans can be substituted.
DON’T YOU SOAK YOUR BEANS?
Not in this recipe. They will cook in the simmering broth and absorb more flavor.
You can soak them if you want though. Place the beans into cold water and place into the refrigerator overnight. Drain the beans before using them. Cooking time will be reduced by about 1 hour.
- Rice – The preferred rice is long-grain rice. You can use other rice types, but I would avoid fragrant rice like Basmati or Jasmine. See the cooking tips below for proper cooking.
- Place 1 large ham hock, or two smaller ones, 1 large bell pepper diced, 1 large onion diced, and 6 stalks of sliced celery into a large pot. (Photo 1)
- Cover with enough water to cover the ham hock, I usually start with 12 cups of water (photo 2), and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 90 minutes.
- Remove the ham hock. Set aside to cool if you want to use the meat in your beans, otherwise, you can toss it out.
- Add the beans and seasoning to the liquid and stir. Add more water if needed, you want the water to cover the beans by 2 inches, and bring to a boil.
- Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to simmer.
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally adding more water as necessary to keep the beans from drying out.
- When the beans have started to soften, but aren’t quite finished cooking (about 2 hours), slice and brown the sausage. This can be done in a 400⁰F oven in a pan with sides or in a skillet with a bit of oil set to medium-high heat, stir frequently. (Photo 3)
- Add the browned sausage and any remaining fat into the beans and continue to simmer until the beans are tender (an additional 1 to 2 hours).
- When the beans are done, reduce the heat to low and stir frequently to keep the beans from scorching. Add more water 1/4 cup at a time if necessary.
- Prepare the long-grain rice and serve with the beans. (Photo 4) See notes below for cooking long-grain rice.
COOK THE PERFECT LONG-GRAIN RICE
There is no need to rinse your rice.
- To make 3 cups of rice you will need 1 cup of dried long-grain rice and 2 cups of water.
- Put the water into a medium saucepan with a lid.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Add the rice and stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to the low and cover with the lid.
- Leave the rice alone! Do not stir it, do not lift the lid to check. Seriously, just leave it alone.
- After 15 minutes turn off the heat and let it rest for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
I tend to use Riceland Long-grain rice. I have also been known to use Minute Rice, so don’t be afraid to take the 5-minute option here!
Keep your beans covered with water until they start to soften, but do not add to much water as the beans near the end of cooking, this will make your beans watery. Additional water should only be added 1/4 cup at a time after adding the sausage.
Browning the sausage in an oven or skillet will add more flavor. This is optional.
Add the sausage during the last hour or so of cooking to keep it from getting mushy.
Start with 1 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning, adjust to taste at the end of the cooking process. You can always add more, but you’ll never be able to get it out if you used too much.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH RED BEANS
Cornbread is the first thing to comes to mind with just about any Southern bean recipe.
This dish has plenty of meat and starches it is already a complete meal, so don’t feel obligated to serve anything more.
It can be stored in the refrigerator separately, or mixed in a covered container for up to 3 days.
The beans can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove.
Reheat the beans on the stove using low heat. You may need to add a touch of water if they turned thick while storing. The rice will do the best in the microwave.
Cover the beans with a paper towel before reheating in the microwave, those beans have been known to explode and will make a mess.
If you missed it together, use a microwave, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until heated through.
This can be frozen, but do this separately.
Thaw the beans in the refrigerator before reheating. If you reheat it directly from the freezer your beans may fall apart as you stir it.
The rice can be reheated in the microwave after thawing, but really, I would just make new rice.
MORE BEAN RECIPES YOU NEED TO TRY
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND SHARE THIS RECIPE
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATION AND NEVER MISS A NEW OR UPDATED RECIPE
Red Beans and Rice
- 1 Smoked Ham Hock
- 1 large Green Bell Pepper cut into large dice
- 6 stalks of Celery cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 large Onion or 2 medium onions, cut into large dice
- 1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere Seasoning more if you like spicy
- 12 ounces Andouille Sausage or another hot sausage
- 12 ounces Smoked Sausage
- 1 pound Dried Red Beans sorted through
- 3 Cups cooked rice
- Add ham hock, peppers, onions, and celery to pot and add enough water to cover the ham hocks, about 12 cups, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 90 minutes.
- Remove the ham hock and set aside to cool, if using meat. If not using the meat discard the hock.
- 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.
- Continue simmering the beans, stirring occasionally for 2 hours.
- Slice the sausage into rounds and brown in a 400⁰F oven in a pan with sides or on the stovetop in a skillet with a tablespoon of oil set to medium-high heat. Browning is optional but recommended.
- Place the sausage slices into the simmering beans and stir to combine.
- Continue simmering, adding water as necessary, until the beans are completely tender, another 1 to 2 hours.
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Serve beans and rice together.
- Soaking beans is not necessary but can be done for reduced cooking time.
- Browning the sausage is optional, but it adds a lot of flavor.
- Add the sausage during the last hour of cooking to keep the sausage from softening too much.
- Start with 1 teaspoon of seasoning and adjust to your taste at the end of cooking.