With Mardi Gras being last week, several people asked me about my Red Beans and Rice. I have a super easy way to make them using the crockpot. A friend of mine showed me this way while we were down in Louisiana a couple months back and it’s turned out to be my favorite way to make them. Of course, I’ve adapted, but the concept is the same and they are delicious this way! What you see is the Red Beans and Rice with a very unique way of making cornbread, which I’ll have to share later. We always eat ours with cornbread, so make some to go along with it! This is also not the traditional recipe using tomato paste, because I can't stand it like that, to be quite honest. So here you have it:
What you'll need:
- 1 pound of red beans
- 1 med chopped (minced, or however you like) white onion
- 1 pound cooked Andoille sausage (you'll see me with smoked sausage because Andoille can only be found in one place here and at the time it was sold out. So in a pinch, yes, you can use smoked sausage)
- Tony Cachere's seasoning (or if you can't find it, use soul seasoning)
- 1 bay leaf
- Instant Brown Gravy (powdered. If you can't find the jar, you can use packets)
- Brown or White Rice
What you're gonna do:
- First you need to rinse and throw out any funky looking beans. Pour in your crockpot. I use a 6 qt for this one, but it works fine on 4 qts as well.
- Add your chopped onion, sausage, bay leaf and season to your preference. If you aren't used to Tony's, then I'd suggest going light at first until the end when you can taste test to preference.
- Cover with water at least one inch. If you are going to be leaving them, I'd suggest adding to cover about 3 inches to ensure they don't dry out. You can always remove water if you need to later. However, you can't unburn your beans. Just sayin'.
- Turn on low for approximately 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Keep an eye on the water level, and add as necessary. Don't let it dry out!! Keep it to where there is plenty of room for the beans and sausage to flow freely because you are going to make a gravy with it next.
- About an hour before it is time, add the instant brown gravy. I don't have an exact number for you, but I would start with 6 tablespoons. Check after 15 minutes and add more brown gravy mix if it's not thickening. Remember, you need to have enough water in there for this!! If you need more water, add it. If you have too much water, remove some. If you want more gravy, add more water and more mix. Easy fix!
- Once your gravy is the consistency you want it, let it simmer for another 30-45 minutes or so.
- This is where I like to prepare my rice. This is a good opportunity to use brown rice because you really cannot tell the difference.
- Once it's ready, remove bay leaf and taste test to determine if you need more salt, pepper, or Tony's.
- Add rice to a bowl and top with red beans and rice. Sorry, I already mixed mine up!