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Easy Red Beans and Rice (Maybe Too Easy) (Saturday, April 10, 2010)

For some reason, my mother decided to send home an entire ham with us after Easter dinner, so it was left to me to find some purpose for it. And I can think of no better purpose than to make Red Beans and Rice. Mine never seems to taste as good as my mom's (probably because her recipe is a lot more complicated than mine), but it's not bad, and you can always add more seasoning to suit your own palette. And anyway, I needed to give my new 12 quart Calphalon stock pot and test drive.

So I went to the store this morning and bought two twenty ounce bags of red beans, and brought them home and put them in water to soak all day. The should probably soak overnight, but eight hours will do.

When it came time to actually prepare the meal, I drained and rinsed the beans and set them aside. In the stock pot, I browned a chopped onion and a large quantity of minced garlic in olive oil, then added the ham bone (with lots of chunks of meat still attached to it) along with most of the ham that fell off while I was trying to free the bone from the 90% of the ham that we hadn't eaten yet.

After browning that for a few minutes, I added the beans about about eight cups of water (enough to cover the ham bone and the beans, but not too much), and I added a little salt and pepper. I brought the whole thing to boil, which took quite a while in a pot this big, and then lowered it to simmer, covered for about two hours, stirring about every half hour. To be honest, it should probably have simmered for at least three hours, but I left it on while we were eating, and my second bowl was a lot better than the first.

About a half hour before you plan on eating, it's a good idea to cook your rice, and make your cornbread (I use the recipes on the rice and Jiffy boxes, so no point repeating them here).

And that's it. Like I said, easy. I think it would be tenderer and more flavorful if I had let it cook a bit longer. And perhaps I should invest in some chili powder. But I tend to shy away from strong spices, so flavor it as you like. Be aware that this takes a lot of advance planning, though once the planning is done, it's pretty easy. Oh and this recipe makes eight to ten pounds of Red Beans and Rice — enough to feed a family of four. For days. What's for breakfast? That's right! Red Beans and Rice!

—Brian (4/10/2010 12:17 AM)
(2 comments)

Comments

Would you try it in a Crock Pot?

-- Tracie (4/11/2010 2:32 PM)

I don't see why you couldn't... I don't think you can brown the meat and veggies in a crock pot, so you'd have to do that in a frying pan first, and then transfer the stuff to the crock pot before adding the beans and liquid. But I don't actually own a crock pot, so I can't say for sure.

-- Brian (4/11/2010 5:04 PM)

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