Slow Cooker Creole Beans and Rice

Whenever I start working on a new recipe, nine times out of ten I carefully plan, brainstorm, jot down ideas, research ingredients, and then I spend hours in the kitchen until I achieve “yumminess.”

But, then there is that tenth time … when a happy accident occurs and I am left with a home-run the first time I step up to the cooking plate.  A home-run without any warming up or pep-talk from my coach (aka, the Husband).

A dash of this and that.  Ingredient substitutions based on what is in my pantry.  All of it comes together and leaves me with a steam bowl of goodness.

Like these Slow Cooker Creole Beans and Rice.

There’s something about slow cooked beans, regardless of how they are cooked.  I grew up on pinto beans and cornbread — a staple in my mother’s kitchen.  They are the ultimate comfort food for me . . . a dish my mother prepares for me every. single. time. I go back home.

She pretty much rocks.

Today’s recipe is a combination of my favorite slow cooked Pinto Beans and another Southern favorite, Red Beans and Rice.  And, yes, it was a happy accident.

It was a Saturday.  Crisp.  The weekend temps had cooled off and I was craving my favorite fall comfort food.  I rinsed and sorted the pinto beans that had been waiting in my pantry, ready and willing for culinary goodness.  An hour later, after a quick boil and soak, they were ready for the slow cooker.

Then I realized something tragic.  I had the pinto beans, no problem there.  But I was missing corn meal.  Missing ham hocks.  Oh, the horror!

It was time to change the game plan.

Creole seasoning came out of the spice cabinet and some Aidell’s sausage came out of the fridge.

And, somehow, garlic and onion jumped onto the counter too.  Weird.

Six hours later, we had the perfect mix of Texas and Louisiana flavors.  And, ’cause I could, I poured it over rice.

Simple.  Done.  Delicious.

Slow Cooker Creole Pinto Beans and Rice

Makes enough to serve 8-10 people; can also be divided and frozen for a future meal

Ingredients

  1. 1 pound of dry Pinto Beans
  2. 1 tablespoon of Oil (EVOO or canola)
  3. 1 cup finely chopped White Onion (roughly half a large onion)
  4. 2 ribs of Celery, chopped
  5. 2 clove of garlic, minced
  6. 2 Sausage Links*, sliced
  7. 2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning Blend**
  8. 3 cups Chicken Stock
  9. Water
  10. Salt and Pepper
  11. Tabasco Sauce (optional
  12. Cooked Rice (enough for the number of people you are serving — for our family of five, I generally prepare two cups of dry rice)

Directions

  1. Pour the beans into a colander and rinse with water, removing any stones, shriveled beans, loose skins, etc.
  2. Put the beans into a large stockpot and add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and let them boil for five minutes. Then, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. After the time has lapsed, pour the beans and water into the colander over the sink, discarding the water and any beans that had floated to the surface, loose skins, etc.
  4. Over medium to medium-high heat, add roughly a tablespoon of oil into a saute pan and bring it up to temp (where a drop of water sizzles if dropped into it).
  5. Next, place the sliced sausages, chopped onion, chopped celery and minced garlic into the hot sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat until the onion has softened. Stir in the creole seasoning so the spices can “bloom” from the heat.
  6. Put the beans into the slow cooker, followed by the sausage and aromatics, and then add the chicken stock and enough water to cover the beans by at least an inch.
  7. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until beans are tender but NOT mushy.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  9. Serve over cooked rice and top with green onions and Tabasco sauce, if desired.
Notes
*You don’t *have* to use a specific brand or flavor of sausage in this recipe.  Traditionally, andouille sausage is used but a smoked sausage, jalapeño sausage, etc., would also be great.  I used what I had on hand (Chicken and Apple) and it too was good.  It gave a milder flavor than other options.
**Creole Seasoning is a blend of spices and can be found in the spice aisle.  

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Recipe by Rachel Lacy.

 

 

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Comments

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  2. says

    The only bean I grew up (and liked) was the great Northern bean … I wonder how they would work in this recipe. I haven’t made them in forever, hubby rolls his eyes at beans for dinner.