Red Beans & Rice
Why I Love This Recipe
This 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)
Ingredients You'll Need
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.