Creole red beans and rice is an easy recipe to make when you are craving some authentic soul food from New Orleans. Let these creamy red beans simmer for hours on your stove top. What’s stopping you from serving your family a healthy side dish of red beans and rice for dinner tonight?
For the Red Beans
- 2 pounds dried red beans, soaked, drained, and rinsed (preferably Camelia brand; 907g)
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease (30 ml)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
- 3 cups yellow onion, diced (roughly 2 large onions; 432g)
- 1 cup celery, diced (roughly 5 celery stalks; 123g)
- 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped (roughly 1 medium pepper; 140g)
- 1 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped (roughly 1 large pepper; 231g)
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 2 smoked ham hocks
- 2 cups chopped meat from the ham hocks (approximately 270g)
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock (946 ml)
- 4 cups filtered water (946 ml)
- 1 large carrot, peeled (optional)
- 6 bay leaves
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
For the Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups long-grain white rice (360g)
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (709 ml)
For the Garnish
- bunch of spring onions, green part only, sliced diagonally
- handful of flat leaf parsley, rinsed with stems removed
- white vinegar, for each guest
- hot sauce, for each guest
- a fresh grind of black pepper
Preparing the Dried Red Beans
- Soak the beans using this quick-soak method. In a large Dutch oven, cover them with double the water. Put a lid on it, and bring them to a rolling boil and let cook for 10 minutes. Shut the heat off, but keep the pot on the element with the lid on tight. Let them soak for a minimum of one hour to a maximum of overnight, then drain and rinse the beans and set aside.
Making the Red Beans
- Cut the onions, celery, and bell peppers.
- In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, put in 4 tablespoons of fat (bacon grease, olive oil, or some combination of the two).
- Once the fat has heated up, add the holy trinity (onions, celery, bell peppers) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the first set of spices and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the soaked red beans, chicken stock, water, and bay leaves, Add the carrot and nestle in the two ham hocks then cover. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 3 hours with the lid askew. Stir occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- After two hours, remove the 2 ham hocks and place them on a large plate. Wait for them to cool before cutting the meat off the bones and adding it back into the pot.
- During the last 15 minutes, remove 3 cups and mash with a potato masher, then return back to the pot. This gives the mixture a more creamy texture. Mix in the salt and sugar and adjust seasonings to taste. If necessary, add some water to get the desired consistency. Serve hot.
Making the Rice
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then saute the diced onion. Add a bay leaf and the salt; then cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the 2 cups of rice and pour in the chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve warm.
Serving the Red Beans and Rice
- Keep the red beans and rice separate so each guest can serve themselves.
- In a bowl, place the desired amount of rice (roughly 1/2 cup), then ladle the red beans on top (roughly 1 cup). The basic ratio is double the red beans to rice.
- Sprinkle with green onions and parsley, and have the hot sauce and vinegar available for guests to add to their bowls. Add the vinegar 1 teaspoon at a time to your bowl. Enjoy!
- Fifteen minutes before serving, mash some of the beans with a fork, wooden spoon, or potato masher for a more creamy texture.
- Fine tune the seasonings in the last 15 minutes, and add the salt at this time.
- The beans are done when they are a consistent, creamy texture and have broken up.
- Category: Side
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Red beans, creole, comfort food