Make Ahead

Red Beans and Rice (no HamĀ Hocks)

February  1, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

My best friend and her dyed-in-the-seersucker New Orleansian husband taught me this recipe, which I've bastardized in a few ways. It has a deep, smoky flavor and hit of spice without the usual various pork product flavorings.

If you don't have Creole seasoning lying around, consider making some and keeping it in the cupboard - it's a versatile blend. —MeghanVK

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (or to taste) tablespoons Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's
  1. Soak the beans overnight in four cups of water, or quick-soak them (bring to a boil for five minutes, turn off the heat, and let sit for two hours). Sadly, this is not a recipe for canned beans.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan large enough for your beans. Dump in the "holy trinity" of onion, celery and bell pepper, and the garlic and ginger. Let brown, slowly, over medium-low heat for at least twenty minutes, until limp and Snooki-level tan.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste. Pour in the beans and their soaking liquid, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Add the bay leaves and Creole seasoning. Partially cover and cook over low heat for two hours, until the beans have taken on the frankly unappetizing appearance of a reddish-brown sludge and the vegetables have all but - or perhaps entirely - disintegrated into the beans. Mash up about half of the beans with the back of a spoon or potato masher. Taste for seasoning, and serve warm with white rice, and/or slices of toasted French bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MeghanVK
  • Arathi
  • Valley Chef
    Valley Chef

3 Reviews

Arathi March 19, 2011
I agree with MeghanVK - while ham hocks are fantastic, it's very nice to have a yummy, substantial dish that vegetarians can partake in. I think my Mom would love this dish, but she's vegetarian and wouldn't be able to eat it with ham hocks. In fact, I think I'm going to make it for her when she visits in a couple weeks. Thanks for the recipe, it looks great!
Valley C. March 16, 2011
That is a sin not to have smoked ham hocks or smoked turkey wings/legs in some red beans.
MeghanVK March 19, 2011
I think the bigger sin is denying red beans to the entire vegetarian world, but to each their own. For what it's worth, these are really really good.