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BackstoryThis recipe for red beans is the product of years of cooking and eating in South Louisiana and New Orleans. I got the pepperoni trick from the founder of Popeye's brother-in-law. (He said it was his mom's trick, they're lot's of Italians in New Orleans)
- 2 smoked ham hocks;
- 1 lb MILD smoked pork sausage(use a coarsely ground smoked pork sausage DO NOT USE KIELBASA!!! DO NOT USE HOT SAUSAGE!!!)
- one large onion--halved;
- 1 lb dried red beans;
- 1 chopped bell pepper,;
- 6-10 whole garlic cloves;
- 2 bay leaves;
- 2 chopped onions;
- 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes;
- 1/3 cup ketchup (you can use diced tomatoes and 1 tbs honey instead);
- 1/2 tsp black pepper;
- 1/4 tsp red pepper;
- 8 ounces pickled pork (1" to 1-1/2 dice) (may omit);
- 2-3 inch chunk of pepperoni with the casing peeled off and diced fairly fine (you don't want to see it in the beans);
- 1 tbs hot sauce (not tabasco).
- Place 2 smoked ham hocks in a pot, cover with water and add a halved onion. Let the ham hocks and onion simmer for 1 hr.
- Turn off the burner and add 1 lb dried red beans. Be sure beans are covered by at least 2 inches. Let the beans soak for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.
- Turn the burner back on, remove the halved onions and then add 1 chopped bell pepper, 6-10 whole garlic cloves (no need to chop the cloves will dissolve in the pot you'll never think it has this much garlic don't skimp), 2 bay leaves, 2 chopped onions, 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes, 1/3 cup ketchup (you can use diced tomatoes and honey instead)(do not skip this ingredient) , 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp red pepper, 8 ounces pickled pork (OPTIONAL), 2-3 inch chunk of pepperoni diced fairly fine (you don't want to see it in the beans), 1 tbs hot sauce (not tabasco) and enough water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs stirring often and adding water when necessary until beans are tender.
- Remove the ham hocks and discard (don't pick the meat, you've gotten all you want from the hocks).
- Slice 1 lb mild smoked pork sausage in 3/4 inch slices and add to beans (use a coarsely ground smoked pork sausage no need to brown sausage). Cook an additional 30 minutes or so.
- Taste the beans and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also smash some of the beans to make the gravy creamier and/or refrigerate the beans overnight. They are always better the next day. Serve over rice with a sliced cucumber and onion salad and french bread and butter. If you can get a barq's creme soda or root beer you'll have a great meal.