I live in Louisiana. And Louisiana is known for great food. Jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp and grits, bananas foster, red beans and rice.
I make red beans and rice pretty often. It’s a family favorite and a Louisiana staple. It’s also really easy and really cheap. A pound of dried beans costs around a dollar and I try to catch smoked sausage on sale and stock up and freeze it. Red beans and rice is simple and flavorful.
Awhile back, I posted my recipe for red beans and rice and I couldn’t believe how many people reached out to me through email and on my Facebook book page to tell me that they appreciated such a simple recipe for something that was so delicious. See, there’s this common myth that a food that tastes delicious has to be hard to make.
False. Completely false.
Some of the best meals are the simplest.
And this easy dish is no exception.
Black Beans and Andouille Sausage
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 ribs of celery, sliced
- 2 14-ounce packages of andouille sausage, sliced into poker chips
- 2 pounds of dried black beans.
- 2-pound box of beef broth (optional)
- 1 gallon of water
- salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, garlic salt
In a large stock pot, saute the onion, bell pepper, and celery in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the sausage and cook until slightly browned. Pour in the dry beans, beef stock, and water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of pepper, 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt. You will likely add more as it cooks and you taste it. Cook on high until it comes to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice.
Well Duh #1: If you can’t find andouille, you could use regular smoked sausage.
Well Duh #2: You can use a bag of frozen seasoning blend instead of the fresh vegetables.
Well Duh #3: It’s hard to put a cooking time on this! Just cook it until the beans are tender and the liquid is thick and stewy. I have cooked it anywhere from 3-6 hours.
Well Duh #4: This “formula” will work with pretty much any dried bean and meat of your choice:
- Red beans and rice
- White beans and ham
- Black beans and andouille
- Black-eyed peas and ham hock
Aromatic vegetables + dried beans + some kind of meat + water. That’s it.
In fact, if you’re really pinching pennies – and who doesn’t from time to time? – leave the meat out completely! I added a box of beef broth to this pot, but it isn’t necessary. Most of the time, I just use water and the flavor is still fantastic!
I made a big pot of rice to go with this and it was delicious. Ordinarily, I would have made cornbread to go with it, but people were starving and I didn’t have time. They ate it with saltine crackers instead. It was a great alternative to our usual red beans and rice! And I had plenty to freeze for another day. I froze some in individual servings with rice for a quick heat-and-eat meal for one. And I froze the rest in bigger containers for those days when I really don’t feel like cooking a big meal. I’ll just make some rice and heat up the beans and sausage!