Red Beans and Rice

A Tasty Pressure Cooker Version Of The Classic

Red Beans Bowl1

Who doesn’t like Red Beans and Rice? Nobody, that’s who! That may explain why every Tom, Dick and Mary has a recipe for Red Beans and Rice. So why am I posting yet another recipe for Red Beans and Rice? Because I like Red Beans and Rice, and I like them the way that I make them. So perhaps, you will like them my way as well.

Red Beans Ingredients

In addition to being a great meal for the cooler weather, it might also be a tasty alternative to chili to serve at your party for “THE BIG GAME”. Myself, I don’t know from no big game. But I do like to think I know from tasty food.

Red Beans and Rice is one of those dishes that no matter what you do, it’s going to be wrong according to everybody else who has ever made Red Beans and Rice. So, if you happen to have an old family recipe that has been handed down for generations, I hope my recipe doesn’t raise too much ire.

Chopped Veggies

I like to use small red beans, but others swear by red kidney beans. You can use either. I prefer the texture of the small red beans.

I also soak the beans overnight. I know it is the latest trend these days to not soak beans, but no matter what “they” say, I don’t think you can get the same creamy consistency without soaking. And who am I to follow trends, anyway? The day that I cook my beans without soaking, will be the day I do it while sporting a man-bun.

Garlic

You can use either ham hocks or shanks. The package I bought was labeled “shanks” but I am about 99% sure they were actually hocks. I have noticed before that here in SoCal, a lot of people use the terms interchangeably. Though they are not exactly the same thing, you can use either. Or even smoked turkey thighs if you don’t eat pork (in which case you would switch the Andouille to a chicken or turkey version as well).

Sliced Andouille

I made this in my trusty Kuhn Rikon stovetop cooker, but you can use the electric as long as it will fit. Add 5 minutes for the electric. I was using my electric to prepare the rice, so stovetop it was.

I don’t brown the sausage. I know some people can’t imagine not browning the sausage. If you are one of these folks, feel free to brown the sausage if it makes you feel better.

Ham Hocks

Start by heating some oil on medium-high heat. Sweat a large diced onion, a couple chopped green peppers and a few stalks of chopped celery until they start to soften and the onions are translucent. Add 5 or 6 cloves of pressed garlic and sauté for another minute. Some may frown upon putting the garlic through one of those infernal devices, but  I can sometimes be a bit lazy and don’t always feel like mincing it with a knife. It still tastes like garlic once it is cooked, so what’s the harm?

Spices

Add in a tablespoon of Creole Seasoning (Tony Chachere’s seems to be the standard and is relatively easy to find), a teaspoon of dried Parsley, a teaspoon of dried Oregano, a teaspoon of dried Thyme and 1/2 a teaspoon of Allspice. Sauté, stirring constantly for a minute or so.

Plop in a package of Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds, about 1/4″ thick. Kielbasa or Smoked Sausage will work in a pinch, but Andouille is what is generally used in the real deal.

Vegetables Sauteeing

Dump in a pound (dry weight) of red beans (or kidney beans).

Pour in a 32-ounce carton of chicken broth, 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.

Veggies Spices

Place 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of ham hocks or shanks into the broth and toss a couple of bay leaves on top.

Lock the top on the pressure cooker, raise heat to high and bring to high pressure.

Veggies Sausage

When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set your timer for 30 minutes. If you are using an electric pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot, which is the electric that I use, set time for 35 minutes.

Red Beans Rice Mixed2

Speaking of the Instant Pot, once I get my beans going, I make the rice in the electric pressure cooker. I like Basmati the best for this dish.

When the time is up on the beans, let the pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

Remove the hocks/shanks to a plate and let cool for a few minutes.

Place the beans over medium-high heat and cook for about ten minutes to thicken slightly.

When the hocks are cool enough to handle, discard the bones and skin and chop the meat.

Add the meat into the pot with the beans.

Add salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve in bowls with a scoop of rice and some sliced green onions or chopped parsley on top.

Red Beans and Rice
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Cajun-Creole
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
A creamy, meaty version of the New Orleans classic
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, small chop
  • 2 bell peppers, small chop
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) small red beans, soaked overnight (you can sub kidney beans)
  • 12 ounces Andouille sausage (you can sub Kielbasa), sliced into rounds
  • 1-1.5 pounds ham shank or hocks
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Cooked rice, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oil over medium high heat
  2. Sweat onions, peppers and celery until they start to soften and the onions are transparent
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  4. Dump in the creole seasoning, parsley, oregano, thyme and allspice, stirring for another minute
  5. Add the sausage, beans, chicken stock, water and Worcestershire sauce
  6. Place ham hocks into the pan
  7. Toss in the bay leaves
  8. Lock the top on the pressure cooker
  9. Turn heat to high until high pressure is reached
  10. Adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 30 minutes (35 minutes for electric pressure cooker)
  11. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
  12. Remove the ham hocks to a board and let cool for a few minutes
  13. While hocks are cooling, place beans over medium-high heat and let cook for about 10 minutes to reduce liquid a bit.
  14. When hocks have cooled a little, discard the bones and skin and chop the meat that is left
  15. Consistency will be a little liquid, but once you mix with the rice it will be just right
  16. Serve in bowls with a scoop of rice
  17. Garnish with parsley or green onions

 

Pressure Cooker Yellow Split Pea Soup

Soupe Aux Pois Made Easy In The Pressure Cooker

Canadian Yellow Pea Soup1

I grew up not liking split pea soup at all. Now it seems I am making up for lost time. I recently posted a recipe for green split pea soup. That one was a thick, hearty, stand-a-spoon-up-in-it soup.

Shortly after that, during one of my marathon poking-around-the-interwebs sessions, I came across French-Canadian Yellow Split Pea Soup.

At first I was intrigued, but a few minutes later I was obsessed. Since my heritage includes French-Canadian, I just had to prepare “the food of my people”. This is more of a medium-density soup. It is definitely not a broth, but it does have diminished spoon-standing capabilities.

Yellow Pea Soup Ingredients

I tried to be fairly true to tradition, but sometimes it’s not quite possible. For instance from what I have seen, this soup is usually made with whole dried peas, or a mixture of whole and split. I probably would have done this if I was able to track down the elusive whole dried yellow peas but I had no luck here in SoCal. Sure, I could have gone the internet route, but I had some good yellow split peas, so why wait for delivery and whatnot?

The recipe is easy, but a little more time consuming than some, just because it requires a simple ham stock to be made first. When I say the stock is simple, I mean simple. Just toss your choice of ham hock, ham shank or ham bone into twelve cups of water, cook at high pressure for 40 minutes and you’re in business.

Yellow Pea Soup Ham Shank

The stock can be made ahead of time, so things will be speedy when you make the actual soup.

After the stock is done cooking, let the meat cool. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, discard bones and any large chunks of fat that are present. Then, chop up the meat.

Ham Meat Chopped

 

For the soup, get some butter melted in the pressure cooker pot and sauté the onions, carrots and celery until things start to soften a bit and onion is transparent.

Yellow Pea Soup Chopped Veggies

I think this is one of the few recipes where I don’t use at least five cloves of garlic, but it is not exactly a garlic-driven recipe. I think the most important flavor profile in this dish would be the savory. That’s the thing that makes it the most “Canadian-y”. A lot of recipes say that you could substitute thyme, but I would highly recommend tracking down some savory in order to get the full Canuck experience.

Butter Melting

Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute. Now add in the savory and a little salt and pepper. Don’t add too much salt at this point. Depending on the meat that you are using, you may not need a lot, you can add more later if it needs it.

Sauteed Veggies

Dump those peas in there, along with whatever meat you cut off those bones.

Pour in ten cups of the stock (you can add a cup or so less if you like it a little thicker, but I have found that ten cups is just about perfect for this. Sure, I specify twelve cups in the stock recipe because I like to have a little extra, just in case. As in almost every recipe I post, toss in a couple bay leaves.

Put the top on the cooker, turn heat to high and set the timer for eight minutes. Remember, when cooking legumes in the pressure cooker, never fill the pot of the pressure cooker over half full.

Yellow Pea Soup Finished

When the time is up, turn heat off and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

I like to serve it with toasted baguette with bleu cheese (not traditional, but tasty).

Pressure Cooker Yellow Split Pea Soup
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Canadian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5 large servings
French-Canadian Yellow Split Pea Soup Adapted for the Pressure Cooker
Ingredients
For The Ham Stock
  • 1.5 -2 pounds ham shank or hocks, or hambone
  • 12 cups water
For The Soup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped small
  • 3-4 small carrots, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons savory
  • 1 pound yellow split peas, picked through and rinsed
  • Chopped meat from shank/hock/ham bone
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 cups ham stock
Instructions
Make The Ham Stock
  1. Put The Shank/Hocks/Hambone in the pressure cooker with 12 cups of water
  2. Put lid on pressure cooker
  3. Turn heat to high until high pressure is reached
  4. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  5. Set time for 40 minutes
  6. When time is up, let pressure come down naturally for ten minutes then do a quick release
  7. Remove the meat to a plate to let it cool
  8. When meat is cool enough, cut from bone and chop
  9. Stock and meat can be made ahead and saved for a day or two in the refrigerator
Make the soup
  1. Put the butter in the pressure cooker over medium heat
  2. When butter is melted, sauté onions, carrot and celery until onions are translucent
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  4. Add the savory and a little salt and pepper (you can add more salt later if necessary, it may not need much depending on the meat).
  5. Add the peas and meat
  6. Pour in 10 cups of the ham stock (can use a little less if you would like it thicker)
  7. Toss in the bay leaves
  8. Put the cover on the pressure cooker and turn heat to high
  9. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  10. Set time for eight minutes
  11. When time is up, remove from heat
  12. Let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  13. Taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed
  14. Serve in bowls with toasted baguette on the side (I like it with bleu cheese)