Happy Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday! If you are celebrating, you’re probably on your way to indulging in some of your favorite creole dishes. In a perfect Mardi Gras celebration, I’d serve some Creole Fried Chicken, Seafood Gumbo, Maque Choux, Beignets, and Red Beans and Rice. Oh my goodness, I LIVE for Red Beans and Rice. Popeye’s has some of the yummiest and I’ve been busy trying to achieve that savory flavor.
What really gives this dish some zing are smoked meats, particularly sausage. Johnsonville fully cooked sausage is packed with flavor which helps bring life into Read Beans and Rice. Another must have ingredient is the grease from a smoked meat such as bacon, heavenly bacon. Enjoy the recipe below and if you have any tips and tricks for the perfect RB&R, let me know. P.S. I used brats this particular time (I had a coupon), but be sure to use smoked sausage… mmmkay?
Today’s star is brought to you by Johnsonville’s fully cooked sausage free of fillers for a juicy and firm texture and bite! You can also look for Johnsonville’s Split Rope Sausage available in portion control packaging with two individually-sealed sausages.
- 1 lb. dry kidney beans
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 lb. Johnsonville Smoked Sausage
- 3 tbsp bacon grease
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 chicken of beef bouillon cubes
- 2 tbsp Tony Chachere’s / cajun seasoning
- 1 sliced green onion
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
- Quick soak red beans by placing them in a pot with double the amount of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil with a lid and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat after two minutes and let sit, for one hour, tightly covered.
- While the beans are soaking, slice the sausage into medallion-like circles or small triangular bits. Brown the sausage in a large pot over medium/high heat. Remove them from the pot, leaving the grease and refrigerate for later.
- Dice the onion, celery, green bell pepper and garlic. Add them to the large pot containing the sausage grease and add 1 tbsp of bacon grease if needed. Saute the vegetables until they are soft and transparent.
- Drain and rinse of the beans, then add them to the pot. Add 7 cups of water, the bullion, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and remaining bacon grease. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly to medium and boil until the beans are soft (for about one hour without lid). Add water if the beans get too dry.
- Once the beans are soft, smash about half of the beans against the side of the pot using a large spoon. Add the sausage back into the pot and continue to boil to your desired thickness (about another hour). Add cajun seasoning.
- During the last hour of cooking, cook the rice. In another large pot, combine two cups of dry rice with 3.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil with a lid then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until all of the water has absorbed (about 30 minutes).
- Serve the beans in a bowl with a pile of rice on top. Top with sliced green onions.
Johnsonville fully cooked sausage is packed with flavor to make your dinners easier and more delicious. Johnsonville Sausage is proudly made using only premium cuts of pork to pack in the real flavor. Get ready for Mardi Gras with Johnsonville! Visit Johnsonville.com for great recipes! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with their latest news! This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville Sausage. The opinions and text are all mine.