This is more of a tutorial than a real recipe because I don’t measure anything.
Most important – use small red beans – not kidney beans, not pinto beans, not “red beans”. It really needs to be small red beans.
Second, the amount of salt, all seasoning really, is going to depend on the sausage. Some sausage is salty – especially not the real cajun sausage. Even if it says “authentic” cajun sausage, if it wasn’t made in Louisiana, it’s different. I’m not saying Louisiana sausage is better (but it is). It’s different. It tastes different, it looks different, it behaves differently when cooked. Yes, you can probably get good red beans with the sausage available in your location but wait til you taste it made with real Louisiana cajun sausage. Oh, my mouth waters just thinking about it.
Recently I watched a video of a lady canning red beans and she used ground beef along with her sausage, which, by the way, wasn’t good Louisiana sausage and I’m sure her beans were great. Here, I can’t get good Louisiana sausage. When I go, I always bring back a cooler full of sausage but I don’t go that often any more. Chad goes at least once a year so he brings back as much sausage as he can fill with the coolers that fit in his SUV.
Even for those who live in Louisiana and have access to the best and most sausage, they all have their favorite brands. My favorite was made by a store that was destroyed in the hurricane two years ago and they are not building back so I had to buy my second favorite brand. Every little town or area in Louisiana has a local brand of sausage and any good cajun will tell you his favorite brand (or he makes it himself) and that’s the only brand he will buy. But for those of us not living in Louisiana, we’re going to have to take what we can get.
So, after seeing the lady add the ground beef to her beans (except she added ground turkey) . . I thought . . I have a ton of ground beef, I have about 20 pounds of sausage . . I’ll use enough sausage to give it a good flavor and I’ll add a pound of ground beef so that’s what I did with with this batch.
If you want to minimize the gas produced from eating beans, try the steps listed below. It seems to work for us but I also believe that the more you eat beans, the less negative effects they have on you or, maybe it’s the more you eat beans, the less you notice. 🙂
- Dump one pound of red beans into a large bowl.
- Add water and swirl them around with your hands. Pour off the water.
- Repeat Step 2 at least three more times. Watch for small clumps of dirt and especially watch for little stones or pebbles. In 40+ years of cooking beans, I’ve only found a couple of pebbles.
- Drain the beans into a large colander and run more water over them.
- Pour the beans into a large bowl and cover with water. They need to sit at least overnight. It wouldn’t hurt to dump this water before you go to bed and add fresh water.
- In the morning, drain and rinse the beans. Put them in a large pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer at a low bowl for about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off, let the beans sit for about 15 minutes, drain and rinse the beans one final time.
NOTE: I do not have a bay leaf listed in the ingredients but it is included in the instructions. I cannot go back in and fix it for some reason so . . if you want a bay leaf, add it. I sometimes do and sometimes don’t. This week when I made them, I didn’t.
Red Beans & Sausage
- 1 lb. small red beans, rinsed, drained and simmered
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 T. chopped garlic
- 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
- 1/2 to 1 lb. cajun style sausage, sliced into 1/4" slices
- salt & pepper to taste
- 5 sprigs parsley, chopped (optional)
In a heavy skillet, saute sausage til lightly browned. Remove to paper towels to drain excess grease. Leave a couple of tablespoons of the grease and pour off the rest of the grease .
Add the onions, celery and bell pepper. Saute til tender. Add the garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Remove to a bowl.
Brown the ground beef. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ground beef and pour off all the fat.
You can either use an Instant Pot, a stovetop pressure cooker or simmer the beans on the stove.
Do not salt the beans before cooking! Depending on whether you soaked your beans overnight and the simmered them before cooking (you should!) you will add at least enough water to cover the beans, plus a couple of inches of water. You can always cook of the extra liquid but if they scorch from not having enough liquid, they're ruined.
If cooking in a pressure cooker, I add the water plus 2". If you're simmering on the stove, you'll want to watch to see if you need to add more water.
Add the beans to the pot. Add the water, the sauteed veggies, the sausage, ground beef and bay leaf. Cook until tender. In the Instant Pot, it's usually 35 to 40 minutes. Once the pressure is released, check the beans to see if they're tender. If not, add more water if necessary and cook longer.
Once the beans are done, add salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.
Serve over hot rice with cornbread and coleslaw.
I no longer live in Louisiana and cannot get good sausage unless I’m visiting family/friends in Louisiana so I usually add 1 lb. of ground beef and only use 1/2 pound of sausage. If you’re happy with the sausage you can get, use 1 pound of sausage and leave off the ground beef if desired. Of course, you can use 1 pound of sausage and 1 pound of ground beef if desired.