1 Pound dry red beans soaked overnight in 6 cups of water in the refrigerator (kidney beans are fine if red beans are not available)
1 Pound andouille sausage
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Large onion
1 Green pepper
4 Garlic cloves
3 Celery stalks
3 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Bay leaves
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasonings (use less if you don’t like spicy hot dishes)
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley (1 Tablespoon dried parsley)
6-8 Cups of prepared long grain rice
Salt to taste
Hot Sauce to taste
Night Before Cooking
Rinse the beans, sort them (to remove small stones or irregular beans) and soak overnight in a large bowl or pan. Some cooks also use canned beans and reduce the cooking time.
Cut the andouille into thin slices. Preheat a cooking pot over medium heat. Put one tablespoon of oil in pan and brown the andouille. Remove from the pan, put in a bowl and refrigerate. Leave the andouille grease in the bottom of the pan. We’re going to use it to sauté the vegetables.
Rinse the green bell pepper and remove the core and seeds. Then dice the green bell pepper, onion and celery and place in a bowl. Crush or mince the garlic and put in the bowl. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan you cooked the andouille in and saute the vegetables. When they start to turn translucent, stir in the tomato paste, bay leaves, sage, black pepper, and Cajun seasonings. Stir for about a minute.
Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the ingredients in the pot. Stir in five cups of water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover the pan and turn the heat down to medium low and allow it to quick simmer for an hour. Uncover and stir occasionally, then recover and allow it to quick simmer.
Rinse the fresh parsley and mince it.
After an hour, remove the cover and smash a third of the beans agains the edge of the pot with a spoon. Stir in the sausage and fresh parsley. Heat it back up and allow it to simmer with the cover off until it thickens up. This could take about 1/2 hour.
At this point, prepare your rice according to the directions on the package. Tip: When you make the rice, add a little less water than called for to ensure it comes out fluffy. For example, if the package calls for 2 cups of water, add 1 3/4 cups.
After the red beans mixture thickens, use a clean spoon to taste it. Then decide if you want to add salt or any other seasonings. Keep in mind that people will want to add salt at the table to their taste, too.
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