In a stock pot, saute the onions, celery, and garlic for 1 -2 minutes. Add the sausage, bay leaf, black pepper, thyme, cayenne, and salt, saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the ham hock and beans. Cover the mixture with the stock. Bring up to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the bean mixture for 2 hours or until the beans are tender. Mash 1/4 of the mixture against the side of the pot with a spoon. Reseason with salt and pepper if needed. Remove the ham hock and slice the meat off the bone. To assemble, spoon the warm rice onto the serving bowl. Ladle the bean mixture right over the top. Garnish with green onions, Essence and crusty bread.
Yield: 4 servings