In a large heavy saucepan, heat the bacon fat. When the fat is hot, sauté the onions and celery for about 5 mintes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves. Add the sausage and garlic and continue to sauté for 3 minutes. Add the beans and water. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, or until the beans are soft and creamy. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Remove the bay leaf.
Yields: 8 servings