While growing up, I think we had red beans and rice one day each week. I not sure which one it was and I wasn't fond of them. In college, I started liking them and have gone through many phases of liking them or not! This is my rendition of the Southern favorite!
1 lb dried red beans
3 quarts of water
1/2 lb cooked ham, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar (optional)
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 or 3 bay leaves
hot, cooked rice
- Wash and clean dried beans. Soak overnight in water, then drain and rinse well before cooking.
- Add beans to fresh water in large pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook 40 minutes.
- Add rest of ingredients (except rice) to the pot. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Next, I like to use a potato masher and mash the beans up just a little bit.
- Then cover and cook on medium low for another hour or until they reach the consistency that you want. You will need to stir them fairly often during this last stage.
- Discard bay leaves and serve over cooked rice.