Cajun Red Beans and Rice au Vin

By • December 29, 2009 • 10 Comments

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Author Notes: In 1983, I met a colleague who loved "cajun" food and was so excited when he found out that I was from New Orleans that he had to share his. I still have the yellowed piece of paper with the recipe written out in his handwriting with brown ink. I made some variations according to my taste, and you can certainly vary it to yours. He used something called "salt meat," which I was never able to find. I usually use the bone from a baked ham, or you can cook a few slices of bacon and crumble them in. Some people like sausage with their red beans. Andouille is traditional. Use small red beans or large kidneys. I like the small ones. If you don't like things too hot, a teaspoon or so of red wine or sherry vinegar at the end is a nice substitute for the Tabasco. As my friend wrote at the end of the recipe, "This be good yeah--I guarantee." - drbabsdrbabs

Food52 Review: This is a great spin on red beans and rice! I have been to New Orleans many times over the years and, no matter where we go, I always get a bowl of red beans and rice. Usually I make my version with our homemade tasso or some locally-made andouille. This version is so rich with the broth and wine alone that you don’t need the additional meat. The recipe also works well in the pressure cooker. I did a quick soak on the beans then proceeded with the recipe, cooking on high pressure for 30 minutes. After natural release, I uncovered and simmered until thickened, about another 30 minutes. I’m sure this would be equally wonderful with red wine (I’ll try that next time). Both my husband and I really enjoyed this and plan to make it over and over again! - Helen's All Night DinnerHelen's All Night Diner

Serves 4-8

  • 1 pound red beans, washed well. You can soak them overnight and drain them well. If you do, this will cook in an hour or two instead of overnight.
  • 1 bone from baked ham. If you don't have a ham bone, you can cook 4 slices of bacon till crisp and add the bacon and fat to the pot.
  • 1 cup white wine (it can be inexpensive table wine, but don't use "cooking wine.")
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves (or 3 to 5 sprigs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • red wine or sherry vinegar, optional
  • 4 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine
  1. Put all the ingredients except for Tabasco and rice in a crock pot or large dutch oven. Make sure the water level is 1 1/2 to 2 inches above the level of ingredients. Cover and cook on low overnight. (It's ready when the beans are soft and the liquid has begun to thicken.)
  2. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. If you used a ham bone, remove that too, but cut the meat off the bone and put it in the pot with the beans. With a wooden spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of pot to make the dish creamier.
  3. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. You may want to add some cayenne and a few sprinkles of Tabasco (or a teaspoon or so of red wine or sherry vinegar...or both!)... depending on how hot you like it.
  4. Serve over rice with extra Tabasco or vinegar if desired. Garnish with finely chopped scallions.
Jump to Comments (10)

Tags: can be made ahead, comfort food, Easy, Easy, savory, Southern, spicy

Comments (10) Questions (0)


4 months ago JanetFL

Barbara, I'm guessing that your colleague was referring to "salt pork". Can't wait to give your this a try!


4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You're probably right. Hope you like it!


10 months ago Westminstress

I'd like to make this, but I'm a little worried that my dried beans won't soften if cooked with wine from the beginning ... i have very freshly dried beans and I intend to cook them in a regular pot without presoaking. Can I follow the recipe as written or would you add the wine later? Thanks!


10 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's pretty forgiving. I think it will be fine either way.


over 3 years ago Helen's All Night Diner

Great job w/ this drdabs! We really enjoyed it!


over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, Helen! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!


over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Congrats ! I can hear your friend's voice...gar auhn teee. I agree.


over 3 years ago wssmom

I love how you can adapt the recipe to what's on hand! Perfecto!


about 5 years ago meredithhimelfarb

This sounds delicious!


about 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Tastes good too! In Louisiana red beans and rice is the traditional meal for Monday night--cooks all day while you get your washing done!