Cool weather is fast descending on the Northeast, and with it has come thoughts of breaking out my slow-cooker. My oldest son, a senior in college, called a few days back and said that he and a few of his roommates were coming home for the weekend. We chatted briefly about meal planning for the gang, I made a note to go stock the fridge with beer, and set about pulling together this hearty, easily reheat-able meal that we could grab for on a whim over the course of the weekend.
This dish, along with Michael Symon's Spicy Sriracha Wings kept the wolves at bay and the beer flowing as we settled in for a great weekend visit. I've never made red beans and rice before, so I've nothing to really compare this to, but I have to say that its a snap to pull together, can feed a pack of ravenous types, and is just exploding with authentic cajun flavors. Served up with your favorite cold brew, this dish is a great cook-ahead feast for a Sunday football gathering, or whatever other even you might host that brings guests hungering for bold flavors and a hearty meal.
Cheers – Steve
- 1 pound dried red kidney beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound andouille sausage, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped poblano chili
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 (12 ounce can) lager-style beer like Budweiser
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 4 cups hot cooked, long-grain rice
- Sort and wash beans; place in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain beans.
- Return beans to saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes then drain.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage; cook 6 minutes or until browned. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through garlic); cook 8 minutes. Stir in beer; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Place sausage mixture in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add beans, stock, red pepper, black pepper, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
- Discard bay leaves. Stir in 1/4 cup green onions and vinegar. Serve over rice; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup green onions.