We had a little party last weekend. It involved an 84 lb pig cooking on my driveway and just over 100 people partying it up in my yard, garage, kitchen and basement. It was a blast. It was also a serious test of my hosting abilities. That’s a lot of people to feed and, contrary to what my husband thought, they needed something to eat besides pork. (Though that pork was indeed delicious.)
I ordered a few things from the catering department of our grocery store. I had a few generous friends supply some sides and desserts. And I made two hot side dishes: homemade mac & cheese and red beans & rice. I have a secret to admit, I was so excited to get to make the red beans & rice. My family aren’t huge bean eaters so I’ve only made this once before when we were having people over. I love this recipe but I’m not about to make an entire crock pot full when I’m the only one who will eat it (well, I think J would help me out but he’s the only one).
This recipe fills an 8 quart crock pot so it’s definitely intended to feed a crowd – I think it would be great for a tailgate. And it’s good enough that I was asked for the recipe multiple times and only had two servings left over at the end of the night.
Crock Pot Red Beans & Rice
– 1 lb dried red beans, soaked overnight in water
– 2 smoked ham hocks
– 7 cups water
– 1 green bell pepper, chopped
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 3 celery stalks, chopped
– 3 tsp minced garlic
– 1 package (approx 1 lb) of Andouille sausage, sliced into half moons
– 3 TB creole seasoning
– 2 bay leaves
– 5-6 dashes of hot sauce
– 6 cups rice, cooked
1. Place ham hocks in the crock pot. Drain the beans and add them plus all ingredients except the rice to the crock pot. Cook on HIGH for 7 hours.
2. About 30 minutes before you want to eat, put some water on for your rice and cook according to package directions. Remove the bay leaves & ham hocks (they will be breaking apart and you could chop up their meat and add it back in if you’d like, I don’t). Mash some of the beans against the side of the crock pot. Stir in the rice and let sit in the crock pot on warm for about 30 minutes so the rice soaks up the juices.
This can sit in the crock pot for hours on warm and stay good. It also makes excellent leftovers.