Friday, February 02, 1990

Red beans and rice

This is essentially how I remember my momma makin' RB&R. Everybody's recipe is a little different and I make no claim that mine is better (or worse) than any other. It's just mine, maybe a bit simplified from my momma's because I use my "rule of ONE" - one pound of beans, one onion, one cup celery, etc.

Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. red KIDNEY beans
1 onion (chopped fine)
1 bell pepper (chopped fine)
1 cup celery (chopped fine)
1 garlic (chopped fine) That's one whole garlic, not just one toe.
1 bunch shallots (green onion, scallions, whatever name they go by in your area) (chopped semi-fine)
A few Bay leaves
1 lb. "pickle meat" (Difficult to find in stores outside of Cajun country. Make your own or substitue ham hock, which is not really an adequate substitute)
1 bottle decent red wine for cooking (optional)
1 bottle of a robust red wine for drinking (I hate to add "optional" here but...)
Seasonings (salt, pepper, Cayenne)
OPTIONAL: sausage, sliced into discs 1/4~1/2 in. thick (Andouille preferred)

If you're more efficient than I am, soak the beans the night before. I never manage to do this. Put 'em in a large pot about half full of water with the pickle meat, the Bay leaves, and a first pass with the seasonings. If you use wine, add it here, too, and reduce the amount of water. About half the bottle. Chop all the veggies fine and throw 'em in, except the shallots. Reserve those for later. Simmer for a coupla hours, at least, probably more like three. Control the liquid level so they don't get too thick. If you wanna add sausage, add it after the beans have been cooking an hour or so. Add the shallots when the beans are close to done. Correct the seasonings. Remove the Bay leaves.

Serve over (white) rice. If you don't put sausage in the beans, you can serve sausage, pork chops, etc. on the side.

Oh yeah, the rice.

Here's how my momma taught me to make rice, old New Orleans style - long grain white rice. This is not "sticky" and not "nutritious" compared to other methods of rice preparation and I make no excuses for it. I simply present it as part of my recipe. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. A *large* amount of water compared to the rice. Add rice. Keep it boiling. Stir frequently. You heard me right. STIR it. Frequently. When the rice is done, rinse it in a colander. Yes, RINSE it.

Now you're ready to eat!

Don't forget to serve this with a crusty baguette and a robust red wine. Corn bread instead of baguette? Not with my red beans; I'm from New Orleans, not "the South." Salad? Sure, if you're so inclined. Use your favorite recipe for that component.



  1. i'm making this! thank you!

  2. Lynelle, RB&R is a New Orleans staple, historically offered on Monday because that was wash day and you could let the beans cook while you did the laundry. Hope y'all like 'em.