Slow-cooker red beans and rice!
Originating from Louisiana, it one of those comforting dishes that work so well in the crockpot. Southern flavors are heavenly and sublime, just enticing you slowly into its Southern embrace. The smokiness is balanced with piquant pepper sauce giving a rounded comforting heartiness.
Although this recipe calls for a piece of ham, it’s traditionally made with leftover ham hock from the weekend. So if you do have leftovers, this is the perfect dish to use ham and make the best of it. (If you are in the UK, you would have to use smoked gammon).
The rice is made separately and the beans are served over it.
Soak the beans the night before and throw them into the crockpot ready to cook the whole dish, or cook in the slow-cooker for a couple of hours before adding the rest of the ingredients.
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Robust, fruity, and red is the wine that you want to drink with this. An American Pinot Noir is great pairing as the soft fruitiness holds its own against the piquant and it has just enough body to not be lost with the ham and sausages.
Slow-cooker Red Beans & Rice
2 Cups / 500 ml Dried red beans
6-8 Cups / 1 1/2- 2 L water
1lb – 1 1/2lbs / 500-750g Ham (UK Smoked gammon)
3 Celery stalks
1 Yellow onion (UK 20-3 onions) Chopped
1 Green bell pepper chopped
4 Sprigs fresh thyme
4 Sprigs fresh oregano
2 Bay leaves
3 Cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1-2 Tbsp Tabasco
1lb / 450g Andouille sausages sliced on the diagonal (UK Smoked kielbasa)
Cooked white rice to serve
Rinse and sort the beans then follow instruction 1 OR instruction 2
- Soak the beans overnight in water, then place in the crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the rice) to the slow-cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Place the beans in the crockpot covered in water and cook for 2 hours. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the rice) and cook for a further 6 hours.
Cook enough rice for the number of people being served and serve the beans over the rice. Freeze the remainder.
I have a larger crockpot that I like to fill and have plenty of leftovers to freeze, for future suppers or lunches. This allows me to make the most of cheaper cuts of meat or any specials that I have picked up. This is one of the recipes that really help to keep the budget tight, as beans are a cheap but nutritious ingredient that will keep you full while stretching the meat ingredients. It makes good use of leftover ham, but buying ham from a wholesale club or if you are in the UK, gammon from a discount store will still make for a budget dinner.