Cajun Red Beans and Rice

1 lb small red beans (not kidney or pinto– look on the internet if they aren’t in your market)
10-12oz Bermuda onion, minced
10-12oz green bell pepper, minced
10-12oz celery, chopped
2 T butter
1 lb bacon, clipped to 1″ pieces and fried crisp — reserve drippings in soup pot
1 lb andouille sausage (or substitute a high quality dry smoked sausage)
1 lb lean ham, chopped to 1/2″ cubes
10 c beef or ham stock
1 T hot paprika
1 t cayenne pepper
1 T salt (more to taste when re-seasoning)
1 t fine ground black pepper
1/2 t cumin
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 t dried basil
1 t dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 of a 15oz can of refried beans
2-3 T Louisiana Hot Sauce (not Tabasco — something like Louisiana Gold, or Trappy’s Red Devil)

5-6 c prepared white rice (Texamati or Basmati works well)

  • Soak beans for 8 hours (overnight) then drain and rinse
  • Saute bacon pieces until crisp and use a slotted spoon to remove them from their grease into a plate and set aside.
  • Add butter and trinity veggies (onion, pepper, and celery) and saute until veggies are tender.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Deglaze the pan with stock.
  • Add bacon and other meat to the stockpot, as well as pre-soaked beans and all herbs and seasonings EXCEPT cayenne and hot sauce.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow boil/high simmer and cover.  Stir at least once every half hour, and allow to boil on low/med for 2-3 hours or until beans are very tender.  Remove bay leaves from the pot.
  • Add in refried beans to thicken the broth (this should be a very brothy bean soup) and season with cayenne, hot sauce, and additional salt to taste.
  • Prepare rice, and serve in a wide, shallow bowl with rice in the bottom of the dish with a well made in the center and ladled full of the bean soup.  Serve with additional Louisiana Hot Sauce.
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