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"the Gumbo Pages" Traditional Red Beans and Rice

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“This recipe comes from "The Gumbo Pages" and it's the best basic recipe I've come across. I tweaked it a bit to make it healthier by omitting the smoked meat and substituting liquid smoke and using the turkey sausage. I have put the traditional notes on the ingredients as well. It also has a very good Vegetarian version I will post. Once you have the basics, you can taste and tweak it to you and your family's tastes as the beans cook down.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak the beans overnight, if possible. The next day, drain and put fresh water in the pot. (This helps reduce the flatulence factor.)
  2. Bring the beans to a rolling boil. Make sure the beans are always covered by water, or they will discolor and get hard. Boil the beans for about 45 - 60 minutes, until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Drain.
  3. While the beans are boiling, sauté the Trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper) until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. After the beans are boiled and drained, add the sautéed vegetables to the beans, then add the liquid smoke (or ham hock), smoked sausage/turkey sausage, seasonings, and just enough water to cover.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook uncovered for 2 hours at least, preferably 3, until the whole thing gets nice and creamy. I taste the broth at around 1.5 hours and adjust seasonings as they cook down. Stir occasionally, making sure that it doesn't burn and/or stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. NOTE: If the beans are old -- say, older than six months to a year -- they won't get creamy. Make sure the beans are reasonably fresh. If it's still not getting creamy, take 1 or 2 cups of beans out and mash them, then return them to the pot and stir.
  7. If you can -- let the beans cool, stick them in the fridge, and reheat and serve for dinner the next day. They'll taste a LOT better. When you do this, you'll need to add a little water to get them to the right consistency.
  8. Serve generous ladles-ful over hot white long-grain rice, with good French bread. I also have a bottle of hot sauce on the side for those who like it spicy!

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