Red Beans and Rice

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 pound boiled ham, cut into ½ inch cubes
6 oz. sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over, soaked overnight and drained
3 Tbs chopped garlic
4 cups cooked white rice
10 cups chicken stock or water
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt cayenne, black pepper, and thyme for about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, ham, and sausage and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the beans, garlic, and enough water to cover the contents in the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Add more water if the mixture becomes dry and thick.
Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender and creamy. Add more liquid if it is too thick. The mixture should be soupy, but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and thyme. To serve ladle into bowls with rice. Garnish with green onions.
9/2000 – Emeril Lagasse

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