I’m convinced that I was Cajun in a previous life. Maybe it’s just something about the land and the lifestyle that reminds me so much of my life here on the Eastern Shore – but I definitely feel a connection to those bayous in Louisiana. Even though I’ve never stepped foot in one…
I was shocked when I realized I’d never made red beans and rice. Sausage isn’t my favorite thing on the planet, but after feeding my three guys – who love it – for a couple of years, I’ve started to come around. The flavor that it gives to whatever it is you’re cooking it with can’t be attained by any other means, and it holds up well to cooking in a slow cooker. Yesterday I had a really busy day running errands and spent most of the afternoon in the dentist chair, so I threw this together in the morning before I left to head out the door. By 4:30 PM when I was finally heading home I was so thankful to know that dinner was ready and waiting for me when I returned.
I used andouille and kielbasa, for a double wallop of smokey porky flavor. Combined with tender and creamy red beans, onions, bell peppers, garlic, and a thick tomato sauce – it was the perfect meal at the end of a long day. I served it over rice to soak up all of those delicious juices, but served it with a salad and homemade cornbread for good measure. The boys both wanted seconds, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest for lunch this week. With Mardi Gras coming up next Tuesday, it would be a perfect meal to put together in the Crockpot while you’re at work.
Giving you more time to pour yourself a Hurricane, and laissez-les bon temps rouler when you get home! This one is definitely a keeper in my book, I hope you guys enjoy it too.
(Crockpot) Red Beans and Rice
1 lb. dried small red beans, soaked overnight or use the quick-cook method
8 strips bacon, chopped
2 lbs. of sausage cut into 1 inch slices (I used 1 package andouille and 1 package of kielbasa)
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 (4 oz.) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp Worstershire sauce
1 Tbsp hot sauce
Additional hot sauce, for serving
Cooked rice, for serving
chopped green onions, for garnish (optional)
Cook bacon in a large frying pan, drain on paper towels and set aside. Add sausage to rendered bacon fat and cook until browned. Remove and place in crockpot.
Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook until veggies are starting to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and Cajun seasoning and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomato paste and mash into the veggies to combine, letting cook in the skillet until starting to brown – about 5 minutes.
Carefully add the water and combine with tomato paste, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits that have accumulated. Pour mixture into slow cooker.
Add the beans, bacon, chicken broth, bay leaves, salt, pepper, Worstershire, and hot sauce to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the beans are soft and starting to break down.
Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and serve with additional hot sauce, if desired.
Source: adapted from My Biscuits are Burning