Monday, January 21, 2019

Emeril Lagasse: Red Beans and Rice

I've been meaning to make a red beans and rice recipe for a while, but where do you start in selecting one?  Every resident of Louisiana seems to have their take.  I finally settled on Emeril's version because he hasn't let me down yet.  And he certainly doesn't here either.  The final product was perfectly flavorful and spicy, and still filling and meaty, especially with all of the pork products involved.  Don't be fooled - this is definitely a full dinner.

Red Beans and Rice
From Emeril Lagasse

1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over
3 tablespoons bacon grease
¼ cup chopped tasso, or chopped ham
1½ cups chopped yellow onions
¾ cup chopped celery
¾ cup chopped green bell peppers
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Emeril's Essence
Pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
½ pound smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked ham hocks
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock, or water
4 cups cooked white rice
¼ cup chopped green onions, garnish

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, Essence, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about ¼ cup at a time.)

Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about ¼ of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Makes 8 servings

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