Red Beans and Rice
New Orleans cuisine is all about the holy trinity of onion, celery, and green bell pepper. You start this dish, as with so many others, with equal parts of each, then you build on that foundation. Traditionally, this is made with pickled pork, which is hard to find anywhere outside of Louisiana. To replicate the unique depth of flavor that ingredient brings, I combine cider vinegar with a ham hock. Together, they bring a meaty tang to the mix.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced green bell pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ham hock, skin discarded, meat cut into 1/2-inch chunks, bone reserved
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
4 cups Chicken Stock or store-bought unsalted broth
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 (15-ounce) cans red beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups cooked white rice, preferably Carolina Rice
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the ham hock meat and bone, bay leaf, thyme, chile flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the broth and vinegar bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. You want the beans really mushy and soft.
Discard the ham hock bone and bay leaf. Transfer 1/4 cup beans to a small bowl and mash. Stir back into the pan, simmer until thickened, then serve over rice.
Some Like It Hot: I definitely douse mine with hot sauce. You should too if you like heat.
Complete your New Orleans-inspired meal with this delicious King Cake from Chef David Guas!