Heirloom Beans and Red Rice
serves: an army (actually, it serves 5 to 6, but when there’s only 2 of you…)
preparation time: eons (in reality, 2 to 2+1/2 hrs)
1+1/2 cups red rice
3+3/4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked heirloom beans, soaked (see below)
2 pre-cooked spicy chicken sausages, chopped into bite-size pieces
3 quite large heirloom tomatoes, chopped (~6 cups)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp hot chile (such as a Hatch chile), minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil (smoked, preferably)
3/4 tsp sugar
1+1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 handful of chopped cilantro
I planned this so the rice and beans would be done before the other ingredients. It’s fine if they cool down, you’ll combine them at the end.
Cover the beans in a few inches of water, and soak 4-8 hours. Drain, and then add to a large saucepan with 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender (about 75 minutes, but that may vary depending on the type of beans you use). Add the sausage at some point – I added it during the last 30 minutes, and probably could have put them in the whole time. Drain and set aside if the other stuff isn’t ready yet.
Combine the rice and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook until tender. The packaging said about 30 minutes, but it actually ended up taking closer to 45 minutes for mine.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, and then add the chopped tomatoes. Add the salt, sugar, liquid smoke and paprika once the tomatoes liquefy. You want to cook them until they reduce and thicken into a sauce, which will take differing times depending on what type of tomatoes you use. And it will seem like they aren’t ever going to thicken, but they will eventually. It took 20-25 minutes for mine to cook down. You may want to turn the heat up to medium high if the tomatoes aren’t simmering on medium. I turned it up and down a few times during cooking. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Then add the pepper, onion, and chile and saute two more minutes. Add the celery, and continue to saute until the onion is translucent and the pepper is tender. Stir in the parsley and cilantro. Add the tomato sauce, rice and sausage and combine well. (Technically for red beans and rice you’d serve everything over the rice, but that’s the nice thing about making your own recipes up – you aren’t obligated to meet anyone’s expectations).