As you may know, this dish is traditional Monday fare in New Orleans and many areas throughout the South (and not only on Mondays either!). This recipe is for the basic traditional method and ingredients; doctor yours up any way you wish! It will always be delish!
Serving Size : 8

1 pound dried red beans -- rinsed and sorted
3 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 - 5 garlic cloves -- minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 smoked ham hocks
1/2 pound andouille sausage, halved lengthwise -- sliced 1/4" thick
1 can chicken stock (14.5 oz.)
6 cups water
Dash Tabasco sauce -- optional
4 cups hot cooked rice
Thinly sliced green onions for garnish

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside. (Alternatively, in a Dutch oven bring the beans and 6 cups water to a boil; boil 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 2 hours.)

In a large pot, heat the bacon fat or oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, cayenne, ham hocks and sausage; cook and stir about 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pot. Add the stock and water, stir well, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)

Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Season with Tabasco if desired. Continue to cook and stir over low heat until the beans are tender and creamy, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Copyright 2003 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved