Friday 24 June 2011

Bit of Down South Comfort Food - Red Beans and Rice

This is a recipe that really brings me back to being in the south. It’s not a native recipe to Texas but when you smelt he flavours it just reminds you of being back in your native land. There aren’t that many ingredients and it’s super easy to make, put it in a pot and forget about it! And I did enjoy it so much I forgot to take a photo of it, but you can't get it wrong.

500g (1lb) dried red kidney beans (washed and cleaned of any pebbles)
200g smoked lardons or bacon; Smoked ham hock if you can find it
1 large onion
3 large celery stalks
3 cloves garlic
1 large bell pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. cayenne (depending on how hot you like it adjust as necessary
2-4 pints of water depending on how big your pot is
1 tbsp. oil

To start:
Dice onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic.

To cook:
Heat oil in a large pot, and sauté bacon, onions, garlic, pepper, and celery.
When the bacon fat has rendered out and is almost cooked add the dried beans, water, thyme and cayenne and pepper. DO NOT SALT YET; since salt naturally makes things retain water, it particularly impedes the cooking of the beans, so if you want tender beans only salt when the beans are done and almost ready to be served.
Bring up to a rolling boil and then turn down to a low simmer, and leave for 1-2hrs, stirring occasionally.
Serve over warm basmati rice.

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