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New Orleans-style Red Beans and Rice

New Orleans-style Red Beans and Rice is a classic, quintessential Mardi Gras meal.

This is a family recipe written down by my father. My grandmother taught it to him (naturally, she never wrote it down and never measured the ingredients). It’s such a fantastic flavorful dish that always makes me think of home.

Original recipe is by Philip Leatherbury, son of southeast Louisiana and Mardi Gras enthusiast.

New Orleans-style Red Beans and Rice

Serves 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Note: Daddy uses dried red beans that have been soaked overnight; they can also be used in place of canned beans in this recipe. I use canned for speed of preparation.

4 cans red kidney beans (or 1 package dried red beans, rinsed, soaked overnight and soaking liquid discarded)

1-1½ lbs. smoked sausage cut into cubes
1 ham hock or ½ lb. baked ham cubed—or a ham bone
with meat (do not use smoked ham)
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 large diced onion
3 cloves (we call them “toes”) chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ Tablespoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
4-6 cups cooked rice

Chopped scallions or green onions for garnish

1. Combine all ingredients (except rice and scallions) in a large pot.
2. Cover with water to 1 inch above ingredients. Cook, covered, on medium-low heat for 1 ½-2 hours. Do not boil; just simmer.
3. Stir every half hour, scraping sides to keep from sticking. Add water as needed to keep ingredients covered.
4. Take 2 cups of cooked beans out of the pot, mash, and then return to the pot for a thicker “gravy.” Add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
5. Serve over a scoop of hot cooked rice. Garnish with scallions.
by Paula Biggs, Frog Prince Paperie
Styled and Photographed by Paula Biggs, Rayna Houveras and Jill Luecht
Recipes by Philip and Lewis Leatherbury

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