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That thing that makes you go... yummm

Folks talk about comfort food from time to time but in our house it's one of the necessities of life. In fact, I haven't met too many platefuls that aren't comforting. What can I say? Nothing wakes your senses as a house filled with the aroma of good, homemade cooking. And today, my taste-buds are tingling with anticipation of some fine, southern Red Beans and Rice.

I've given you my recipe before on cooking red beans and the recipe for making homemade the ingredient that brings about that famous New Orleans taste - pickled pork. To me, the underlying flavor just can't be beat and if you have ever enjoyed the taste of true New Orleans style red beans, then you know there is that something extra ingredient that sets theirs apart from other regions. The only way to describe it is to say that layered in with the sautéed trinity of Louisianian cookery, along with the spices and the rich broth, is a mellow vinegary brine that is so subtle, most folks can't tell exactly what the flavor is or even able to put their finger on it or in this case, their taste-buds.  But the flavor is there and it makes a big difference.

Like many Creole or Cajun recipes, you gotta start with the trinity: onions, bell pepper and celery.

In the case today, I sautéed a couple pieces of chopped bacon with a couple links of smoked Conecuh sausage to render a little grease and add a depth of flavor, and then wilted down the trinity. From there, I added the seasonings.


The beans soaked over night in a slow cooker which prior had swelled during about 4 hours with the setting on warm. Now I normally use Louisiana red beans which are smaller than these light kidney red beans and today I also added some pintos in the mix. I know, not your typical red bean recipe, but sometimes ya gotta cook what you have on hand. Normally, I do not pre-soak my beans, letting the starch meld into the pot making for a thick sauce. But since I'm using pintos too, I drained off the water and will mash up a cup or so at the end to ensure creaminess. There is more than one way to cook beans.

Into the slow cooker went the beans, the trinity mix, pieces of pickled pork and about 5 cups of chicken stock.


From here, I just set the cooker on low for 10 hours and went about my way. Ended up adding more of the chicken stock toward the end.

The result, as you see in the top photo, is some of the best red beans & rice I've made, or maybe I was just in the mood for some comfort food.  As most times, I like the sausage served on top and several cornbread muffins off to the side. I don't think there is nothing better in sopping up that juice that cornbread. Well, maybe that crusty New Orleans 'angel cloud' French bread, but I didn't have that on hand either.

Here are the recipes from previous posts:

Pickled Pork
Red Beans & Rice

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  1. love that you added pinto beans (swoon) and great idea to mash a cup for creaminess...i agree comfort should be plated daily..it feeds the soul

    sweetlife

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  2. That looks very comforting indeed...perfect for me in this miserable weather here. Thanks very much again for another lovely recipe, Drick. Hope the work on your house is near to completion. Please take care and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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  3. YUM!! Every year our neighborhood has a Mardi Gras event and I'm in charge of the food (yeah- they put the Italian irl from the Northeast in charge of this!) I LOVE this dish!
    xoxo Pattie

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  4. This does look fantastic. I agree that most foods, just from the smell, are comforting. However, some of the experimental magazine dishes I've made get comments like, "that smells like feet." Not so comforting. :) Beans, rice and sausage though; DEFINITE comfort food. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Woweee, what a fabulous recipe! Love all of your tweaks and I am drooling, cher! Now, I guess I'm going to have to make it, asap! Looks soooo good!

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  6. This is pure comfort food! I have not made Red Beans & Rice in a very long time and only have one recipe that I like. This one looks look a keeper, so I will have to give it a whirl this Fall!

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  7. red beans and rice have always been one of my favorites....they look exceptional, and that sausage is such a perfect compliment to them!
    thanks for making me hungry!!

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  8. My mom first started making red beans and rice after our family took a tour through the Deep South. It's been one of our favorite meals ever since a dear family friend in Mississippi gave us the recipe. Yours looks wonderful.

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  9. absolutely love red beans and rice this is a great must try for me !

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  10. This is one of my favorite dishes, and you have managed to put it to words here... I make this dish vegetarian, so my boys would just die over the full on you've got here. Spectacular flavors here...and makes a mighty pretty dish :)

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  11. Comfort food in its purest form. Im looking forward to more since it is now colder for you

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  12. Hey Drick,
    You will never guess what I made in the slow cooker crock pot last week! Okay, I bet you could figure it out!

    This is the Monday staple that can still be found in just about every public school in New Orleans, in addition to every corner family style restaurant in the city. Either with cornbread or French bread, this is always a welcome treat.

    Your's looks like I need to get my knife and fork out and start eating!

    Bon appetit!
    CCR
    =:~)

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  13. Looks like a descendent of feijoada, a Portuguese bean stew, however way healthier. Well done gratz on a great dish.

    Rico-Tried and Tested Recipes

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  14. Very yummy, I so need to make this for my daughter - she loves rice and beans and sausage!

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  15. I can almost taste how good this is! :) I can't wait to try it with our local chorizo instead of sausage.

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  16. I love me some red beans and rice. I mash them all up so that my BF cant complain about whats in it plus it gives it a great texture. Your'se looks great!

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