My favorite recipe for Red Beans and Rice is the mind-blowing Susan’s ‘Ward Winnin’ Red Beans and Rice. The richness and depth of flavor are without equal. If you want the real deal do give that recipe a try. You wont regret it.
I have another Red Beans and Rice recipe, however, that is quite good and is made in a slow-cooker. On a hot and/or busy day you will appreciate the convenience of a slow cooker. This dish calls for Andouille, fully cooked, sausages to be added toward the end of cooking. The nice thing is that the beans and other ingredients make for a delicious dish even before you add the sausage. So on a busy, hot day this is a really good version of Red Beans and Rice that will please most everyone.
- 1 pound dried red beans (borlotti, pinto, kidney; about 2 cups)
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (I like Cajun's Choice)
- 6 fully cooked sausages, sliced ¼ to ½ inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Hot sauce (optional)
- 8 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
- The night before cooking, pick over the beans and discard any pebbles. Rinse beans well and place in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Let the beans soak overnight. Alternately, on the day you plan to serve the beans, use the quick-soak method (see note).
- The next morning, drain and rinse the beans and add them to a 4-quart slow-cooker. Add enough chicken broth to cover the beans (add a little water if the broth isn't enough to cover beans). Add the bay leaf, cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and Creole seasoning and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds. Scrape the contents of the pan into the slow-cooker, stir to combine, cover and cook on low heat until beans are tender, anywhere from 3 hours to 7 hours. Timing can vary depending on variety and age of beans, and the heat of your slow-cooker.
- Thirty minutes before the beans are done, add the sliced sausage, stir to combine, cover, and cook until the sausage is heated through. Season the beans with salt, pepper and hot sauce and serve with hot cooked rice.
- Note: To quick-soak beans, place in a pot and cover with 3 inches above beans, bring to a boil, simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain, add to slow-cooker and cook as directed above.
This recipe first appeared in The Oregonian newspaper.