Southern Red Beans and Rice
One of my favorite recipes out of the American South is Red Beans and Rice. It is one of my favorites to make on a Sunday afternoon in my pressure cooker. There is a long version and this very short version. This is in all essence a copycat recipe from one of my favorite fast food joints – Popeyes.
The secret to a good Red Beans and Rice recipe is the flavor you can extract from the ham hocks. Ham hocks are the base flavor of any great red beans and rice dish. It is a poor food, it is something that was leftover from the slaughter of the pigs and as a result was either thrown away or given to the servants or slaves. Yes, folks, this recipe has its origins in slavery. Even today ham hocks can be acquired at a reasonable price in most mega-marts in the United States.
- 2 pounds smoked ham hocks
- 2 15-ounce cans red beans
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 chopped green bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons Cajun Creole Seasoning
- Tabasco sauce
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup converted rice
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the ham hocks into a deep pan. Cover this pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and allow to bake for 5 hours or until you have rendered 1/4 cup of fat from the hocks.
- Combine the 1/4 cup pork fat with garlic, bell pepper and onion and saute until just tender. Add 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, Cajun seasoning, Tabasco sauce and 1 can of the beans. Bring this mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer on medium low setting for 20 minutes.
- Using a potato masher smash the beans into a slight paste consistency. Add the remaining can of beans to the mix and allow to cook 10 more minutes.
- To cook converted rice bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Add the rice, and reduce the heat to a low and simmer the rice for 20 minutes until tender (covered).
- To serve place 1 cup of the bean mixture in a bowl and add 1 cup of rice on top and serve, Garnish with scallions.