This regional favorite has broad appeal because it is hearty and tasty but no too hot. It's a good way to add variety to the menu.—Shirley Johnson, Kenner, Louisiana
- 6 pounds dried kidney beans
- 18 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 bay leaves
- 1-1/2 teaspoons browning sauce, optional
- 2 pounds sliced bacon, diced
- 3 pounds smoked sausage, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1-1/2 pounds cubed fully cooked ham
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 medium onions, chopped
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 6 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 green peppers, chopped
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons pepper
- 22 cups hot cooked rice
- Hot pepper sauce, optional
- Sort beans and rinse in cold water. Place beans in stockpots; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Drain and discard liquid. To beans, add 9 qts. water, garlic, bay leaves and browning sauce if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender.
- Meanwhile, in large skillets, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. In the drippings, cook the sausage and ham until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
- Add oil to drippings in skillets. Stir in flour until smooth; cook and stir over medium heat until reddish brown, about 12-14 minutes. Add the onions, celery and green peppers; cook and stir until tender. Stir into bean mixture.
- Add the bacon, sausage, ham, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve with rice and hot sauce if desired. Yield: 65 servings (about 1 cup beans and 1/3 cup rice).
Originally published as Classic Red Beans and Rice in Taste of Home April/May 2000, p54
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