Red Beans and Rice – Slow Cooker Style

This winter, my slow cooker and i have been having a raging affair!  I had a busy week planned so i turned to my cooker to make something yummy that i can add to the containers in my freezer for a quick and easy meal.

I went to red foods – for my blood and my heart – and needed something with a little spice, so i present to you Creole Red Beans and Rice, Slow Cooker Style.

Red beans and rice is a delicious and popular Louisiana dish, traditionally served on Mondays using the ham bone left over from the previous Sunday’s ham dinner. Red kidney beans are most often used, but many purists feel the flavor is too strong and use the small South Louisiana red beans.

According to “The New Orleans Cookbook”, baked ham should be used rather than country ham or smoked ham. They also recommend pickled pork or salt pork (if using salt pork, eliminate other salt in the recipe).

An excerpt from “The Picayune Creole Cookbook”
“In all the ancient homes of New Orleans, and in the colleges and convents, where large numbers of children are sent to be reared to be strong and useful men and women, several times a week there appear on the table either the nicely cooked dish of Red Beans, which are eaten with rice, or the equally wholesome White Beans a la Creme, or Red or White beans boiled with a piece of salt pork or ham.”
-The Picayune Creole Cookbook, 1900

This recipe has a little of my own flavour thrown in just for good measure.  and being in budget mode and a household of one, I dont have a ham roast on Sundays.  Be warned, this makes nearly 6 litres!

It is best to use dry beans and to soak them before hand.  If they are hard to find, use the canned beans.  You might need to adjust the seasoning if the brine is very starchy.

  • 1 kg dry red kidney beans (or 500grams red kidney beans and 500grams black beans)
  • 500 grams mince  (non-premium is fine but saute it off before hand to drain out the water and the fat)
  • 500 grams smoked ham offcuts or pork bones (i prefer the ham, no bones to deal with)
  • 2 standard onions
  • 2 large green peppers
  • 1 can whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 a celery
  • 3 large cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • some nice big sprinkles of hot pepper sauce

Saute the meat and onions and layer it all in the slow cooker.  i also add 500mls of beef stock.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours and near the end, give it a nice rustic mashing.
Serve over rice (i like wholegrain for some added fibre).

Then, when you need it, the leftovers are only 8 mins in the microwave to defrost!

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