Red beans and rice is classic, comforting fare from my hometown of New Orleans. Our Mardi Gras celebration isn't complete without it.
- 1 pound dried red beans or kidney beans
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, sliced
- Hot cooked rice
- Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add enough water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1-4 hours or until beans are softened.
- Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Add the ham bone, water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove ham bone; when cool enough to handle, remove meat from bone. Discard bone; set meat aside. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic and pepper to the bean mixture. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.
- Add sausage and reserved ham. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve with rice. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Red Beans 'n' Rice with Sausage in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007, p194
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