How to Use Up That Christmas Ham – Red Beans and Rice!

Red beans and rice are a staple in Southern Cajun cooking.  On any given Monday in New Orleans, you will find cooks making Red Beans and Rice – it’s the wash day meal.  At our house, we like Red Beans and Rice the weekend after Christmas.  It’s a great way to use up some of that Christmas ham.  But don’t use it all, you will need some for the beans you serve on New Years Day.

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

1 lb dry red beans

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 med. onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

6 bay leaves

2 t thyme

1 1/2 t oregano

1 1/2 t garlic powder

2 t white pepper

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1 T tabasco sauce

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 lb ham, chopped

4 oz. Andouille sausage

2 – 3 qt. soup stock (I use half chicken, half beef.  I think it give a great flavor)

Cooked Rice

Cover the beans with water and let stand overnight.  Rinse and drain before using.

Sauté the sausage and ham until you have a good color to the meat.  Deglaze the saute pan with some of the soup stock.  Place the sausage, ham, and the dripping from deglazing the pan in a soup pot with the stock and beans.  Add the seasonings and stir.

Sauté the onion, celery, and bell pepper in a little olive oil until there is a nice color, add to the pot of beans. (Do not deglaze the pan after sautéing the onions.  They have a tendency to burn and it will make the beans bitter).

Allow to simmer for a 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender and cooked through.

Serve over hot rice with cornbread or a crusty Italian bread.

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