Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bastardized Red Beans & Rice

Ian having grown up in the South always wants Red Beans & Rice and the problem is I have no clue on what they are supposed to taste like since I'm of Northern stock. I googled about a dozen recipes and I finally settled on combining about 3 different recipes into 1. I know this is by no means authentic but here's my bastardized version of Red Beans & Rice. It was damn tasty and I will definitely make it again.

6 strips double smoked thick cut bacon, rough chopped
1 double smoked link of farmer sausage, quartered & chopped
2 cans red kidney beans
1 white onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 pods of garlic, minced
1 sweet red pepper, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp cumin (less if you don't want to feel the burn)
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don't want to feel the burn)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 l low sodium organic chicken stock

In a dutch oven or large heavy bottom pot with a bit of olive oil render off the bacon on medium heat. Let the bacon just begin to brown up not crisp and then set aside. Keep about 1/4 of the bacon fat in the bottom of the pan. Add in farmer sausage and let it begin to brown. Add in onion, celery & pepper, reduce the heat so that the veggies soften but do not brown. Add garlic once onions are soft. Toss in cumin, cayenne & red pepper flakes and stir gently, I like to toast the spices a little to get more flavour out of them. Drain & rinse the beans well before adding them to the pot. Toss in the bay leaf and gently pour in the stock. With a wooden spoon scrap the bottom of the pan to deglaze it and get all the yummy caramelized bits off and into the sauce. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat so the beans can simmer for about an hour. I'm told the consistency is thinner than chili but not soupy so use your judgment, if it gets too thick add more stock. Stir occasionally so it doesn't burn on the bottom.

Serve over rice. And I know this isn't authentic but I like it with a dollop of plain yogurt.