13 December, 2012

Test! Red Beans & Rice (Crock-Pot Version)

Please note: This recipe is still being tested.

For friends prompting me for a "shorter version" of the Red Beans & Rice with Andouille recipe (to replicate a dish from a beloved late aunt in Louisiana), I'm testing this crock-pot version using ingredients I have on-hand -- without promising "shorter." The aroma is wonderful! 

The flavor is a bit different from what I served at our department Christmas lunch and later at February dinner party (both of which I cooked for a very long time), but my tasters tell me it's quite good. For more specific test results, see Notes below.  

Please post any suggestions below in Comments.

Test! Crockpot Red Beans & Rice
Makes 16 (2/3 cup) appetizer servings
(About 2.7-quarts)
1 (16-oz) bag dry red kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery with top and leaves, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp granulated garlic
4 bay leaves
1 bone-in smoked ham hock
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme 
1/2 tsp dried marjoram 
[Testing 1/2 or 1 tsp?? ground sage]
1/2 tsp coarse grind black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Tabasco® Original Red Sauce (yes, Tablespoon)
1 Tbsp Lee & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce (yes, Tablespoon)
6 cups home-made Chicken Stock + more as needed during cooking 

For finishing
8-oz (1 cup) red wine (Justin Wilson used Claret)
?? 1/2 cup or 1 bunch?? green onions, thinly sliced

For serving
Hot cooked white rice
1-lb Cajun smoked sausage, sliced and browned (or grilled)

3 Tbsp (total) chopped fresh parsley and/or green onions

Test! Crockpot Red Beans & Rice Directions
Getting started
Crumbling dried herbs in your hands as you go, place first twenty ingredients (dried beans through Chicken Stock) in a 4-quart (16 cups) capacity crock-pot and cover; cook on High setting for one hour. 

Either continue cooking on High for about 4 more hours (= total 5) or reduce to Low setting and cook for five to nine (5 to 9) hours more (= total 6 to 10 hours).

Always check periodically and adjust liquid level to keep it about two-inches above the beans. Add stock (or water) as needed. If there's too much liquid, remove cover for several minutes; then, cover and cook for several more hours. In total, I added 8- to 10-oz more of  Chicken Stock.

During last 1.5 to 2 hours of cooking
Use a slotted spoon to remove the bay leaves and ham hock(s); cool. Be careful because the mixture will be very hot, and watch for small pieces. Of the 14 or 15 pieces I removed from one ham hock, five were the size of pea gravel.

Use an immersible blender (mine is 200-Watt Braun MR400 Multiquick Hand Blender) to purée about one third (1/3) of the beans. If you don't have an immersible (stick) blender, use a slotted spoon to remove several cups of beans to a heat-proof bowl and mash them with a mallet (or fork). As needed, add a few Tbsp of the stock.

Chop meat and continue cooking until creamy
Once cooled, chop any meat left on the bone(s) and return to the crock-pot. Add the wine and sliced green onions. Cover and continue cooking until the mixture is creamy and the beans are very soft.

To serve, spoon some hot cooked white rice on each plate/bowl; ladle over beans with liquid.

Add sausage slices; sprinkle with the green onions and parsley. Serve warm.

Test! Crockpot Red Beans & Rice Notes

  • You may freeze these beans in an airtight container. 

  • Next time, and for comparison, tweak recipe temperature and ingredients in the next test as follows:
    • Temperature: Cook only on High.
    • Meat: Add Andouille. Gotta have it to faithfully replicate the dish from a beloved late aunt in Louisiana.
    • Tomato Sauce: With a smaller can, (4-oz), probably add after puréeing the beans. 
    • Booze or wine: Decide whether to continue omitting to save cooking time (see Chesman comments in first bullet above) and avoid tough texture, or add according to our original recipe. If used, defer to end. 
    • Time: Combined with higher cooking temperature, I hope to reduce total time by at least eight (8) hours.

    You might like
    Crock-Pot Red Beans | Tell Me More via My Friends Cook Louisiana
    Red Beans and Rice | Creole Slow Cookin' via My Friends Cook Louisiana

    R > red beans
    T > Test

    Page Last Modified 19 June 2016