The entire time I was making/eating this dish I had Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” in my head – ‘Red beans and rice didn’t miss her!”
I’ve been hitting my slow cooker hard lately but for some random reason I’d never made beans in my slow cooker. Weird right? I mean dried beans and slow cookers go together like peanut butter and jelly, like Ben and Jerry, or even like Bill and Ted during their excellent adventure.
If you’ve been reading my blog at all you may have guessed that I’m a bit comfort food fanatic; I love those hearty stick to your ribs sort of meals – the main challenge is keeping them healthy. One of my college friends asked me one time why I always made “old people food” like meatloaf and stuffed cabbage but I think if a recipe/idea has been around that long there’s a simple reason for it, it’s just that good.
So yeah, red beans and rice is right up my alley.
Plus this recipe has the added bonus of being easy. It’s basically a quick veggie chop and then a throw it all together and let it go.
I don’t have easy access to any of the smoked and cured andouille (other than ordering it online) but Kroeger & Sons at Findley Market does offer a cold smoked hot andouille made out of extremely lean pork that I use. Since it’s cold smoked it’s uncooked and is closer to a fresh sausage than andouille typically is.
I ended up using 4 oz of the fresh sausage (one link) since it’s less concentrated from the lack of curing. Another option is to use hot Spanish chorizo since I think the flavors would also match really well. If you do have access to either of those only use 2 oz since the curing and smoking process causes it to weigh less (it’s probably about ¼ cup chopped).
- 1 cup dried red beans
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 4 oz fresh andouille or 2 oz (1/4 cup) cured andouille or chorizo
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning (preferably salt free)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp smoked spanish paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups hot cooked rice (I always use brown)
- Combine beans through cajun seasoning in slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours.
- Stir in thyme through salt and cook on high for another hour until beans are tender.
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
And oh my gosh, this stuff is delicious with just the right amount of spice. Definitely keep some Louisiana hot sauce at the table for the heat freaks (I used it, husband didn’t).
I love coming home to the smell of something going in the slow cooker; it just makes you feel welcomed and has you looking forward to the meal. I know it’s a horrible picture (it’s hard to properly showcase a dish like this) but don’t be turned off.
Plus bonus! It’s really cheap to make. The cost of dried beans, onions, celery and a bell pepper is definitely minimal. The biggest cost is the meat. If you really wanted to cut down cost wise you could probably get by with using a small smoked ham hock and just kicking up the spices a bit.