Comfort food, perfect seasoning! Made with 1 smoked ham hock and dish emerged with the perfect amount of salt. Used Goya "Central American Red Beans" as the "Small Red Beans" were called in our grocery store; (don't use the large kidney beans for this dish). The spiciness was mild; pass hot sauce at the table for those desiring more fire. You'll want to be in the house to enjoy the aroma as it cooks. I would definitely use fresh thyme again. As usual, this makes a large pot (it needed my 6 3/4-qt. Le Creuset to permit stirring without overflow); I could eat this everyday until there was no more. Saving some for DH on his return from hunting; it should taste even better after freezing. This was excellent comfort food reheated as we watched our first major snowfall of the season. Made for Pammyowl Cookathon.