It's Monday so you know what is for dinner! (Authentic New Orleans Creamy Red Beans and rice)

When you grow up in New Orleans, it's a tradition to have red beans and rice on Mondays. This dates back to the olden days, because wash day was Monday and this is a slow cooking, low maintenance dish that was perfect for the long day of washing, drying and folding. I will always remember as a kid my mom sitting at the kitchen table on a Sunday night with a beer chopping the veggies and meats for red beans so she could get them right on the stove when she got home from work Monday. She tried to make them in the slow cooker as we got older, but it never came out quite right. I have never been able to master red beans in the slow cooker either, the liquid ratio never works out for me.

I haven't made red beans in ages and it was time. I made sure I got Camellia brand beans. I learned when I lived in Texas, the other brands just don't get as creamy. This is just my personal opinion, they did not pay me to say that. Another thing that my mother swears by, and I tend to agree, is that the best pot for red beans is a Magnalite. They don't make them like they used to make them but they are still awesome. My mom still uses the ones she got for her wedding almost 40 years ago and they are a lot thicker and heavier than the one I have that I got last Christmas from the ex's sweet momma. I can tell you after making them in my own Magnalite for the first time as opposed to the ceramic coated dutch oven, she is right! I am also picky about my brand of pickle meat. I only use Savoie's. I used to bring some of that and Camellia beans back to Austin when I would drive home for visits. 

I will try again at a slow cooker version next time. I spied this one on the Camellia site and I think varying the amount of water for how long you do it is the ticket, try it out and let me know how it works if you do! Full recipe after the montage. Linking up with Meal Plan Monday!

I am a blasphemer, I don't use the real Holy Trinity for my red beans.  My mom never put bell pepper in them so neither do I.  And I love bell peppers!
Soak your beans over night.  Or do this if you are in a pinch.
My version of the holy trinity, sub garlic for bell peppers!
After soaking, your beans will look like this. 
That's bacon grease.  I keep it in a Mason Jar in my fridge.  No, I am not married, why do you ask?
There is no garlic in this pan, that goes in raw.
I get some flack for how little sausage I usually put in but I make up for it with more pickle meat.
Add veggies to soaked beans
Cut pickle meat into smallish pieces
Brown your sausage and get all the flavor
Pour that and the chicken stock in the pot.
Brown your pickle meat.  You will probably need to do this in batches.
Pour all the meat in.  Notice not everything is submerged.
Add some water, if you need, to submerge everything.  My old house is on a lean as you can tell.
Chop up these guys and add them after an hour.
I never had proper rice until I got a rice cooker.  And then I went little to no carb
and didn't really need it!
Three hours later, you have this deliciousness. My childhood in a pot!
red beans and rice
Plate it up and garnish with extra chives if you desire
So damn good!  
Mimi's Red Beans and Rice (Makes a ton. Freezes beautifully and reheats even better!)

2 pounds dried red kidney beans (preferably Camellia brand)
1 tbsp. of fat (I use bacon grease)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock (can sub water)
water as needed
1 tsp. baking soda
2 packs Pickle meat, cut into small pieces
1 pack hot sausage (or mild if you don't like the spice) cut into rounds
1 handful chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tbsp. dried)
6 chopped chives (or 1 teaspoon freeze dried)
salt and pepper
Creole spicy seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's)

Soak your beans in enough water to cover them overnight (around 8 hours) in the pot you plan to cook them in.  Saute celery and onion in 1 tbsp of fat in a cast iron skillet for 7 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Pour over soaked beans and add garlic and stir.  Cook sausage in same skillet to brown on both sides.  Pour into red bean pot and add chicken broth and baking soda.  Cooke pickle meat in the sausage grease until meat turns white on all sides.  Add to bean pot.  Add any water as needed to make everything in pot just submerged but not swimming.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer and cover.  Stir occasionally. After an hour add chopped herbs.  Cook in total for 3 hours. if too liquidy towards the end, remove the cover and smash some beans on the side of the pot with the back of a spoon.  If not liquidy enough, add water gradually.  Serve over cooked rice and garnish with extra chopped chives.

Happy Cooking!


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