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Red Beans and Rice

September 11, 2012 by Lisa

We haven’t added a new dish to our daily repertoire in ages, but this one is definitely on the list!

Red Beans and Rice is possibly Louisiana’s most famous dish after gumbo and was traditionally a Monday meal, using the bones from the Sunday ham as its base. My version doesn’t use the ham bone or hock as they’re not that easy to get here so somewhat lacks the smokey taste. I also can’t abide green peppers so use sweet red peppers instead. And finally, an authentic dish also features Andouille sausage but there’s no chance of getting that in England! Nevertheless, it’s full of flavour, easy to make and cheap as chips.


  • 4 pork shoulder steaks
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 chopped sweet red Romano chili pepper (the large ones)
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • Half a large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried chili flake
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the steaks in a little oil in a large pot, add the chopped vegetables, herbs and water and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 and a half to 2 hours until the meat is very tender and can be shredded easily.

Drain the beans and add to the pot and cook another 45 minutes. The liquid should be quite thick rather than brothy, so you may need to keep the lid off or even raise the heat to get the water to reduce.

Serve over white rice! Corn bread is the perfect accompaniment but we also like to eat it with white corn tortillas because we’re like that.

And just to prove what an inspiration this dish is, a poem from my friend Louise:

Victor Hernández Cruz, Red Beans

Next to white rice
it looks like coral
sitting next to snow

Hills of starch
The burnt sienna
of irony
Azusenas being chased by
the terra cotta feathers
of a rooster
There is a lava flow
through the smoking
white mounds

India red
spills on ivory

Ochre cannon balls
next to blanc pebbles

Red beans and milk
make burgundy wine

Violet pouring
from the eggshell
tinge of the plate.


1 Comment »

  1. Chelsie Enny says:

    Kidney red beans are commonly used in chili soup chili con carne and are an integral part of the cuisine in northern regions of India. Red kidney beans are used in New Orleans and much of southern Louisiana for the classic Monday Creole dish of red beans and rice. The smaller, darker red beans are also used, particularly in Louisiana families with a recent Caribbean heritage. Small kidney beans used in La Rioja, Spain, are called caparrones.:-.’

    http://www.caramoan.coLatest short article from our very own blog

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