There is nothing better than spicy Louisiana cuisine. I like it all. Gumbo may be the state cuisine, but I’m sure red beans and rice run a close second.
Wikipedia states that the red bean originated in Haiti. I spent two weeks there and we ate diri am pwa like it was going out of style. Everyday, lunch was diri ak pwa, the Haitian version of red beans and rice. To add variation to lunch, I added scotch bonnet sauce, ketchup, Tabasco, anything. Americans are so spoiled. We rarely eat the same meal twice in a week. Haitians eat what they can get. They don’t have the luxury of variety.
I need variety and it definitely shows in my cooking. My beans vary each time I cook them. It all depends on what I have on hand. I tried to get some beef bones yesterday to render out the delicious marrow, but I had to settle for pork shank. I’ve also used ham hocks. I think they are pig knuckles. They taste great.
I decided to write down today’s recipe in case I want to recreate it. (Who am I kidding, this is probably the last time I see it).
2 oz finely diced Tasso
1 slice smoked ham shank
1 link smoked sausage
1 12 oz Pictsweet seasoning blend
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 cup Bordeaux (or any other red wine)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (Gebhardt brand)
1 tablespoon beef base
Soak beans overnight.
Heat Dutch oven and brown ham shank. Dice the Tasso and the smoked sausage. Add to pot and add EVOO.
Once browned, add the Pictsweet chopped vegetables. I hate using frozen vegetables because they steam while you try to sauté them. When I am feeling puny, though, I’ll take the occasional shortcut.
Add bay leaves, minced garlic, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper, thyme, oregano, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce.
Sauté until onions are translucent. Add red wine to deglaze pot (if the steaming veggies haven’t done so already).
Add beans and fill pot with water and cover.
Simmer beans for approximately one hour with occasional stirring. Remove shank. Dice meat and return to pot. Add beef base.
Cover and simmer approximately 30 minutes. Smash about 1/4 cup of beans against side of pot with wooden spoon to give a creamy consistency and season to taste.
Serve over rice with some crusty French bread.