Brandts’ Bean Night

Times being what they are, we’re one of many families on the lookout for inexpensive meals to feed ravening hordes.  Linda‘s been cataloging some of their hits and missed, so I thought I’d note one of ours.  We had it last night, so it’s fresh in the memory.

 Red Beans & Rice

 Take one 1lb bag of red beans (not to be confused with kidney beans) and cover them, in a large pot, with 2″ of water.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.  Cover and remove from heat and leave in peace for at least 2 hours.  I do this right after lunch for that night’s supper.

About 2 1/2 hours before you want to eat, drain the beans and put in 6 cups of fresh water.  Turn the heat on high.  While that’s coming to a boil, add in:

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp red pepper (this will not make it very spicy at all…if you want spice, addd loads more)

1 small can tomato paste

2 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

1-1 1/2 lb sliced smoked sausage

Stir well, making sure the tomato paste is unclumped. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer at least 2 hours.  Uncover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the gravy thickens a bit.  Serve over rice.

With Kansas grocery prices, you can make this for under $3, especially if you’ve already got spices on hand.  If you want to leave out the meat, you’re probably at around $1.  It fills up my family, including boys who go for third helpings.

It’s a bit on the bland side, and I’m tinkering with how to add more flavor without adding a lot more heat, but there it is for now.  If you have an addition or variation, would you share it with me?

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7 responses to “Brandts’ Bean Night

  1. I use CHILI beans ( I like Williams Mild) for a kick. I am single and I just cook those and cook brown ricea nd mix them together and it is filling and tasty!

  2. That’s a great idea, Liz! That sounds like a nice quick version. I bet adding chili powder to my conconction would add some nice flavor. Thank you!

  3. I often add onion soup mix, taco seasoning mix, or just some beef bouillon cubes to the bean cooking water. And a dollop of sour cream on top when you eat them doesn’t hurt either.

  4. Hi! Sorry I’m commenting on this late! Red Beans & Rice, just aren’t Red Beans & Rice without the holy trinity of Creole cooking…onion, celery and green (bell) pepper.
    I’d add atleast a half a green pepper and 1/2 cup chopped celery. Also, you can step up your bay leaves to more like 4 and add a Tbs. of sugar.
    Hope that helps.

  5. I’d use kielbasa and fry it up first and then cook the gravy/spices in the grease from the kielbasa and then add it all to the beans.

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