I found this recipe in "The New Orleans CookBook" by Rima & Richard Collin. It was an incredible hit the first night with family and friends, and it gets even better the next day. I was unable to find pickled pork and used salt pork instead. Delete the salt from the recipe if you make this substitution. I highly recommend pan-baked corn bread on the side with this one (see New Orleans Skillet Baked Cornbread).
- 2 lbs dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight in cold water
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced shallots or 1⁄2 cup scallion top
- 1⁄2 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 1⁄3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
- 1 lb seasoning baked ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 lb pickled pork, cut into large chunks
- 1 large ham bone, with some meat on it 4 to 5 inches in length
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper pod
- 2 whole bay leaves, broken into quarters
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄8 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 quarts cold water, approximately
- steamed rice or boiled rice
- Drain soaked beans in a colander and place them with all other ingredients except rice into a heavy 8-10 quart pot, adding just enough cold water to cover.
- Bring to boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until beans are tender and a thick, natural gravy has formed.
- Add 1 cup of water toward end of cooking if it is looking too dry for your tastes.
- Stir about every half hour just once or twice around the pot.
- When beans are cooked turn off heat.
- To serve, ladle about 1 1/2 cups of beans, meat and gravy over a serving of rice.
Using Salt Pork or even bacon will not give you the same effect. Its good but for the real deal here is a suggested recipe so that you can make your own (Pickle Meat aka Pickled Pork #30250) Try it, it is definately worth it! Other than that, this recipe is right on. I also am a fan of not using the basil but I would not sub anything for it, just omit it. I miss home now.
As a native New Orleanean, I make this dish all the time (as did those several generations before me). My only suggestions would be to add 1 cup of chopped celery and substitute marjoram for the basil. It truly makes our Mondays special around here.
Beyond a doubt the best red beans and ham I have ever made or tasted! I substituted 6 thin slices of bacon for the salt pork but otherwise followed the recipe. I took the suggestion and made this the night before. The next morning I sacrificed a few of the beans on top in order to remove the coagulated fat. I was surprised at how little fat there was. This is definitely not the typical New Orleans hot and spicey red beans and rice. It's mildly flavored and should be a big hit with kids. I've made a note to double the "heat" next time. An outstanding recipe. Thank you soooo much, Rev. Roy.