Sooooo I watch the Food Network a lot…like everyday…for hours. One of my favorite shows is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, which is basically Guy Fieri, my best friend/idol, traveling to and eating at the greatest junk food restaurants in the US. It’s on pretty much every day and I’m usually here glued to my couch watching, laughing, crying, and wishing I could drop out and travel the country with Guy. Legit I’m. So. Jealous. I can’t believe he gets paid to have people feed him things like grilled cheese sandwiches filled with bacon and french fries. WHY AM I NOT DOING THAT?!? It’s torture! He eats so many random delicious fried things and different ethnic dishes. It’s not fair. NOT FAIR. To cope, I decided to make a delicious southern feast. This is part one. Part two is a secret. A delicious secret!!!!!1!!1 BUT lets not get ahead of ourselves. Beans. I made them. And they are delicious. And they were made with the help of the new love of my life, Reginald. Reginald is my newly adopted/forcibly borrowed slow cooker and he is wonderful.
Just like I love Reginald, Guy Fieri, and the Food Network, I love Vancouver. I really really do. However, it’s a bit lacking when it comes to soul/southern food. There is Memphis BBQ Blues, which is awesome. But other than that there isn’t much, so I’ve been suffering. Longing for pulled pork and smoked sausages. Dreaming of soft spicy beans and melt in your mouth ribs. Crying for fried chicken and grilled corn. It’s sad. But now I’m happy! These beans were everything I could have dreamed of. Just the right amount of spice, partially disintegrated creamy beans, and delicious sausage. And to top it all off, its ridiculously easy. Even if you don’t have a slow cooker, its so easy! There’s a little prep work involved, e.g. cooking the onions, slicing the sausage, and either cooking or rinsing your beans, but it’s really not a lot of work. If that’s too much for you then
get out maybe you should considering just buying the canned baked beans (which are also awesome! Just not as awesome as these babies.)
So as I said there is very little prep involved. Chop up one onion. Easy. Sauté it with some olive oil. Easy. Add in minced garlic and cajun/creole spice. EASY! Every step of the recipe I was in that kind of crazed THIS IS TOO EASY mind set. I was waiting for the step where I had to go out and slaughter my own pig and cure the sausage myself or something equally crazy (how do I come up with this stuff??) Thankfully that step never came. Instead I happily chopped, sautéed, rinsed, and even used some of my homemade turkey stock!
After the prep I just dumped all my ingredients into Reginald, turned him onto high, and let him do his magic for about 5 hours.
When we started the mixture was quite soupy and the beans were firm. I gave it a few stirs throughout the cooking process and made sure to taste it continuously. The recipe I was using recommended cooking down until the beans were about 3/4 disintegrated. I also smashed some against the side of the bowl to thicken the mixture a bit. After about 5 hours the mixture had darkened, the beans were super soft and mushy, and the broth tasted aaaaaaaaaawesome. You can see in the photo how much it cooked down. Yum yum yum yum yum.
I let mine sit overnight so the flavors could develop more. It came out of the fridge lookin thick and delicious. Apparently the way to serve red beans and rice is to fill a bowl 3/4 with the soupy beans then to put rice on top. Worked wonderfully for me.
SO GOOD! Make them. MAKE THEM!!
Red Beans and Rice
Adapted, just a little, from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tblsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 3 cans red beans, rinsed
- 3 cups diced hot sausage (I used some awesome smoked Hungarian sausages from The Butcher)
- 3 cups homemade stock (I used turkey but chicken or even vegetable will do)
- 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Cooked rice, depends on what you like your bean to rice ratio to be. I used about 1/2 a cup to a cup of beans
Heat oil in a frying pan. When hot add onions and cook till fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cajun seasoning, thyme, and italian seasoning and cook for about 2 more minutes. When finished, put into slow cooker. Add beans, sausage, stock, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, bay leaves, vinegar, and pepper. Turn to high and let cook for approximately 5 hours. Make sure to test regularly and turn off when beans are at desired softness. Smash some beans against the side of the pot and stir in to thicken mixture. Either serve immediately with cooked rice or let sit overnight and warm next day in slow cooker then serve with rice.