Southern Red Beans and Rice shouldn’t rely on any tomato products for its rich and creamy texture. All the flavor in this one comes browned sausage, a holy trinity, and the beans themselves. Any classic Southern style red beans and rice recipe should get its sauciness from a long slow simmer.
I am not from the New Orleans area and have only visited there. It’s a beautiful city and if it weren’t so stinking hot and humid in the summer I might want to live there. I love New Orleans in the fall months, but especially in October as they are gearing up for Halloween.
I am telling you all of this so that you will understand that I am not claiming that this is an authentic New Orleans 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 in Louisiana or even near the Mississippi Delta. It is my version simply created to replicate the best red beans and rice I have 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, and New Orleans was frequently on my agenda.
I even met Emeril in his first restaurant when he was a New Orlean’s legend, long before he was so famous on TV. He used to come out of the kitchen and walk through the room. Food was amazing! It’s still there and probably still just as hard to get into.
I do not put any tomato products in my red beans and rice, but if you do, that’s OK. It just becomes a Hispanic type of beans and rice dish.
Nothing wrong with it, I used to make red beans that I served over rice for friends when I lived in Florida and it had all kind of things in it, like Sofrito and tomato sauce. It is also delicious, but nowhere near the same as southern red beans and rice. Two entirely different dishes.
MEAT FOR RED BEANS AND RICE
I like to use half Andouille, or another hot sausage, and half regular old smoked sausage. I also slice it into rounds so I can see it.
Taste your sausage first! If you find yourself with some hot sausage that is just sinus-clearing hot, as I have, 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 size of the bite.
I also cut my Creole seasoning to 1/2 teaspoon whenever the sausage is too spicy.
BROWNING SAUSAGES FOR THE BEST FLAVOR
The best way to get as much flavor as possible is to brown the sausages first in a hot oven while I am sweating my holy trinity.
COOKING THE BEANS
I add a bit of water, all of my spices and the sausages and start simmering. I do not even start my beans until the liquid has been simmered and full of flavor.
I do not presoak my beans, I do not precook my beans. I sort and rinse all of my dry beans to make sure there are no stones, shriveled beans, or dirt left behind.
I allow the red beans to fully cook sausage flavored liquid. Some of the beans will break open and thicken the liquid.
This is where you will get the yummy goodness that will coat your rice! I have to admit I also make my ham and navy beans this way too.
LONG GRAIN RICE
The best rice for this dish is plain old long grain white rice, it will not compete for flavor with the red beans or the sausage.
It’s also an economical way to stretch this dish out for feeding a lot of people at once.
Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound Smoked Sausage
- 1 pound Andouille Sausage or another hot sausage
- 1/4 cup cooking oil enough for sweating vegetables
- 1 large Green Bell Pepper cut into large dice
- 1 large Onion or 2 medium onions, cut into large dice
- 6 to 8 stalks of Celery cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 liters Water
- 1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere Seasoning more if you like spicy
- 1 pound Dried Red Beans sorted through
- 3 Cups long-grain rice
- 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 soften, 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 the beans to simmer until they are tender and cooked through, adding more water as needed to keep beans from drying out. This step may take 4 hours or more.
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Serve over long-grain rice.