A Little Louisiana Love: Guest Blogger Jim Rigol’s Beans and Sausage Over Rice

I have tried my damndest to get this picture into this post, to no avail . . . yet. For now, click on the little, faint box with the ‘x’ to the left to see a visual of this yummy recipe.

Commentary and recipe courtesy of Jim Rigol, eatitnow’s Guest Blogger for this week and my boss back at the good ol’ Louisiana Dept. of Health.   

This is my personal favorite and my signature dish among friends and family.  It is fairly unique in that it employs a lot of sausage, which, being skinless and very juicy, is probably the best part of the product.  When nearing the bottom of the pot, polite diners have had to use self-discipline in allowing the other table partners to get the last generous share of the burst-in-your mouth succulence.

It works well with large Limas or red beans.  My favorite is the large Lima beans.

I have been using this recipe for about 30 years but have to admit that it is a close adaptation, especially for the measurements of herbs, to a recipe in The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima and Richard Collin.  I believe most, if not all, of the recipes in this book are from New Orleans restaurants in the 1800’s, such as Galatoire’s.  The book is full of the real deal of New Orleans sauces, appetizers, meats, fish, veggies, breakfast, lots of desserts, and even drinks.  When I was single and between marriages and was wanting to impress my dinner guest, I only owned two cookbooks: The New Orleans Cookbook and White Trash Cooking, the latter purchased primarily so I could make biscuits.

Beans (Large White Lima or Red) and Sausage – Recipe courtesy of Jim Rigol

Ingredients:

  • 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1-1 ½ large Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 6-10 fresh Scallions, remove root stem tip and any “dead” skin or tops, chopped
  • 1 large or two small Onions, chopped
  • 1 small (or ½ of a big) Jalapeno (very finely diced with seeds removed)
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, chopped (jar type OK, add last)
  • small amounts of white wine or water to help with rendering
  • 1 large Tablespoon Parsley
  • 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chevril
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon Thyme
  • 3 lbs. skinless sausage
  • 1 lb. Lima or Red Beans
  • 5-6 cups Water

**BIG TIP: PREPARING WILL SAVE YOU TEARS! PRE-CHOP AND PREPARE ALL OF YOUR INGREDIENTS FOR THIS DISH. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.

1. Add the olive oil to a large stick-resistant pot on low or low-medium heat.

2. Gradually add the following chopped seasonings in the order listed and STIR OFTEN, adding small amounts of white wine or water to keep the seasonings from browning while they are rendering.

  • 1-1 ½ large Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 6-10 fresh Scallions, remove root stem tip and any “dead” skin or tops, chopped
  • 1 large or two small Onions, chopped
  • 1 small (or ½ of a big) Jalapeno (very finely diced with seeds removed)
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, chopped (jar type OK, add last)

3. Next add the herbs, stirring each herb into the seasoned stock. Keep the heat.:

  • 1 large Tablespoon Parsley
  • 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chevril
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon Thyme

4. Add Sausage once all of the seasonings and herbs are in the pot.

  • 3 lbs. skinless – like juicy and delicious Eckrich Skinless Combination Pork, Turkey, Beef Sausage. Slice into roughly ½” pieces and stir into simmering seasoning and herbs for 5-10 minutes.

5. Finally, add Beans and Water to pot.

  •  Rinse 1 lb. Lima or Red beans in colander and add to pot, along with 5 to 6 cups of water or enough to completely cover everything in the liquid.

6. Stir, cover pot and cook on very low heat for about 2 hours for Lima Beans or 3 hours for Red Beans. You will need to stir occasionally. *Do not over-cook and make pasty, although after cooking you can keep them warm on low heat for a couple of hours.

7. Don’t forget to make the Rice! Use any rice, like standard long grain or Uncle Ben’s, white or brown. Uncle Ben’s might produce firmer rice more often, especially with the brown kind. I prefer making the white long grain somewhat soft, but not sticky, in order to soak up all of the tasty juices. In any case, do not use too much water. I usually use a little less water than the directions call for.

Thanks so much for contributing, Jim. Happy cooking! Happy eating, Everyone!

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