On a recent Sunday, Glenn and I spent the day cooking… a lot! Actually, the cooking commenced at 11pm the night before…
We had Travis coming to dinner on Sunday and he was bringing a childhood friend with him who had been living out in Oregon for the last year. This friend is an enthusiastic eater and had been a guest at our table more times than I could count over 2 decades.
His return to Michigan meant we were gonna welcome him back in style. With lots of good eats!
So…why start Sunday dinner at 11pm on Saturday night? There was brisket to cook! Beef brisket. Brisket with a homemade rub. Brisket to get in the smoker. Brisket that would cook for close to 18 hours! A damn good brisket.
When we serve a Southern style meal, I have a hard time editing. Editing what dishes NOT to cook. Well…this time I failed. I failed in editing…
Our menu consisted of smoked brisket, pickled red onions, macaroni and cheese, jalapeno corn bread, cucumber salad, cole slaw, slow cooked green beans and red beans with rice. Oh yeah, and a blackberry cheesecake galette, too (recipe coming soon).
Did I mention this was for four people…and that I made it from scratch? For the record… Monday was a wasted day…Oy Vey…
But it was so darned good! Both Travis and his friends were sent home with doggie bags. Glenn and I ate well for a couple of days grazing on the left overs.(There’s even a bit of brisket stowed away in the freezer.) Everyone came out a winner!
Glenn and I cook up meals like this one about two times a month in the summer. But this was a “first” for one of the dishes. The Red Beans and Rice. It just so happens, Red Beans and Rice will be on the menu from this day forward. We LOVED it…in all it’s glory.
It seems that traditional red beans and rice is served with the bean portion ladled over the rice. I like to mix them together. I actually add partially cooked rice to the beans to finish cooking. I feel the rice has more flavor this way. Traditional red beans and rice always uses andouille smoked sausage, as well. I stepped way outside the norm and used smoked beef brisket instead.
But, to each their own… Serve it anyway you choose… you have my permission. 😉
While searching for a recipe and the “how’s” of cooking red beans and rice I used many sources and made it up as I went along. The bulk of my recipe, however, came from one of my favorite cookbooks I own, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, Printed 1984.
Red Beans & Rice
⇒ For the Beans:
1 pound dry red kidney beans
water to cover the beans
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1/2 pound smoked bacon, sliced in 1/2-inch strips (I used thick sliced Applewood smoked bacon)
2½ cups celery, finely diced
2 cups onions, finely diced
2 cups green bell pepper, finely diced
10 cups water
3 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons Creole seasoning ∗
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 pound smoked beef brisket, cooked and roughly chopped
Optional, Tabasco or other favorite hot sauce to taste
∗ Note: The Creole seasoning I use is a blend of salt, red pepper, paprika and other spices. Because of the salt content in the seasoning, I do not add additional salt.
⇒ For the Rice:
1½ cups converted white rice (NOT instant)
3½ cups water
1 Tablespoon butter
⇒ For the Bean Preparation
In a large pot (with a lid), cover the beans with water 2-inches above the beans.
Let stand coveed overnight (about 8-10 hours).
Drain just before using.
⇒ For the Beans
Heat the canola oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the bacon, celery, onion and green pepper.
Saute until the bacon begins to crisp and the onions are just becoming transparent; about 10 minutes.
Add the 10 cups of water to the stock pot, along with all of the seasonings (bay leaves, creole seasoning, pepper, thyme, garlic powder and oregano). Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir in the drained red beans.
Simmer for 2 hours, stirring often. Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Note: If the beans start to scorch, do not stir. Immediately remove from heat and change to another pot without scraping any of the scorched beans into the new mixture.
⇒ For the Rice
Place the rice, water and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes (about 1/2 cooked). Remove from heat.
⇒ To Finish the Beans
Add the 1/2-cooked rice and the chopped beef brisket to the beans, stirring to incorporate.
Simmer for about 30 minutes more, allowing rice to cook thoroughly and flavors of beef and beans to meld. Add more water, about 1 cup at a time, as needed. Red beans and rice should remain somewhat “soupy”. Note: The photos included were shot on the day after the meal, hence the thicker consistency.
Serve in bowls with hot sauce offered to use, as desired.