SRSA Workplace Culture – Eric’s Red Beans & Rice
Back in January our Marketing Director surprised the office SRSA employees with his custom red beans & rice recipe. Eric had cooked the beans overnight to create a perfect creamy texture and smoky / savory flavor. He used smoked ham hocks instead of sausage and by the end of the day, we had finished off the entire pot!
You can make your own red beans by following the recipe below – enjoy!
Crockpot Red Beans with Smoked Ham
This recipe will fill a standard 6-qt crock pot to the top.
2 lbs dried Camellia-brand red beans
1 or 2 smoked ham shanks / ham hocks
4 medium onions, diced
3 green bell peppers, diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 bay leaves
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Fresh ground black pepper
To Serve: Steamed rice, fresh chopped parsley and green onions
Night before: Rinse, sort and soak the beans. Cover the beans in 2 inches of water and cover the bowl.
- Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Place in slow cooker and cover in 2 inches of water. Add the smoked ham shanks. Turn on slow cooker to High.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add onions and a pinch of salt. Sautee onions until completely caramelized – can take 20 minutes. After the onions are caramelized, add bell pepper and celery, cook until soft stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are soft, add the garlic into the pan and stir, cooking until fragrant. Turn heat to high and add ¼ cup of water to the pan to deglaze, scraping up anything cooked on the bottom of the pan.
- Stir sautéed vegetables, bay leaves, liquid smoke, salt-to-taste, and remaining 3 tbsp olive oil into the crockpot beans. Change temperature to low. Cover and cook 7-8 hours on low.
- In the last hour of cooking, prepare your rice. Taste the broth and adjust by adding salt and small amounts of liquid smoke (one or two drops at a time) according to taste. Add the remaining spices – oregano, thyme, cayenne and paprika. Using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, crush 1/4 to 1/3 of the beans against the side of the slow cooker and stir. Continue to cook until the beans are extremely soft and creamy. Turn off heat and stir the balsamic vinegar into the beans.
- The beans should be extremely soft and creamy, and the liquid will turn into a sludgy reddish-brown gravy. The trinity should cook down and pretty much become indistinguishable from the gravy. At the point of crushing the beans and stirring, any surface oil should incorporate into the beans. Just keep cooking them until the beans fall apart and stop looking soupy. Adjust the seasonings again to taste, discard the bay leaves, and serve with rice and garnishes, maybe a warm loaf of French bread and green salad. You can also make them the day before; red beans are generally better the next day anyway.
Credit: based on an original recipe from Erin Kinchen-Addicks, “a good friend who makes the greatest red beans & rice that I have ever tasted”
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