Classic Red Beans and Rice

by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:

Prep Time: 20 minutes Wait Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Cook Time: 5-6 hours Serves 6 to 8

1 pound dried red kidney beans**

6 cups beef broth

1 bay leaf

11/2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 teaspoon creole seasoning

2 garlic gloves, minced

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 celery ribs, diced

½ large onion, diced

3 cups cooked rice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse and pick through beans discarding any broken or discolored beans. Place beans in a large pot and cover with two inches of water. Heat beans to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Cover, turn off heat and let beans soak for 1 ½ hours.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Add sliced sausage and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until done. Set aside.

After soaking, drain and rinse beans. Place soaked beans in large stock pot and add beef broth. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.

Carefully transfer bean mixture to crock-pot and add bay leaf, hot sauce, creole seasoning, garlic, bell peppers, onions, celery, and cooked sausage. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Once beans are cooked, add hot cooked rice, season with salt and pepper and serve.

**Chef Note: Three (15 ounce) cans of red kidney beans can be substituted for the dried beans. Simply drain and rinse the beans. Combine the beans with the remaining ingredients (including precooked sausage) as directed in a large pot. Cook bean mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes. Once beans are cooked stir in rice and serve.