Monday, February 2, 2009

N’Orleans Style Red Beans

Monday was traditionally laundry day in New Orleans, so, because it does not require a watchful eye, red beans simmered on stoves in households throughout the city. This of course works perfectly when your Saturday night buffet comes after a long day of antiquing with houseguests. My version is prepared on the stovetop. However, if you have a busy day planned, you can pour everything into your slow cooker in the morning and the dish will be ready when you are!!

2 (12-ounce) packages dried red kidney beans
3 large yellow onions, peeled and diced, about 4 cups
1 ½ cups chopped fresh parsley
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced, about 2 cups
8 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 3 tablespoons
2 cups marinara sauce (if you don’t have any home made in the fridge, use a good quality sauce in a jar)
4 to 6 drops (or more) hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 smoked ham hocks
2 pounds smoked sausage, diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the beans into the bottom of a large sauce pan. Pour 3 quarts of water over the beans. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Stir in the onions, parsley, green onions, garlic, marinara sauce, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano and thyme. Bury the ham hocks into the bottom of the beans. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the beans to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 1 hour.

Add the sausage and simmer for another 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and uncover. Remove the ham hocks and allow the beans and sausage to cool completely. About 1 hour before you are ready to serve, reheat over low heat.

Serve with cooked rice and a garnish of fresh parsley.

Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: about 3 hours total

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