- 1 pound dried red beans
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 pound andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- One 1-pound ham hock
- 2 to 2 1/2 quarts Chicken Stock or
- canned low-sodium chicken broth
- Perfect Rice, hot
- In a colander, rinse the beans under cold running water. Discard any broken beans or pebbles. Transfer the beans to a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Or, bring the beans and enough water to cover by 2 inches to a boil in a large pot over high heat and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover tightly; let stand for 1 hour.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage, salt, Essence, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring often, until the sausage is browned, about 4 minutes. Add the ham hock and cook for 2 minutes.
- Drain the beans and add to the pot. Pour in enough stock to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Mash about one-fourth of the bean mixture against the side of the pot with a heavy spoon to thicken the juices. Remove the ham hock. Let cool slightly. Slice the meat from the bone, discarding the skin and bones. Return the meat to the pot and heat through.
- Spoon the rice into bowls and top with the beans.