This red beans and rice recipe is a cross between Jamaican stew peas and rice and a creole red beans and rice. This is a lighter less complex dish, the way I enjoy it, and I hope you will too.
I love smoked bacon slab at this time of year. I usually make this dish on a Saturday, first thing in the morning so that it’s ready, when I’m in the mood for a bowl of comfort food, late afternoon, early evening. I start with a small bowl sat in front of the TV watching an old movie, maybe a Cary Grant flick, oh and a glass of red wine sangria, or apple cider and white rum. Whatever drink takes my mood. Eventually, I’m ready for another bowl, another small bowl, and if the weather is really bad, this goes on all weekend.
Most recently, I made red beans and rice for a girls’ night in. We started with cheese and meats, then had a brussels sprouts salad (recipe to come) and finally, this wonderful red beans and rice dish.
To create this dish, the work is in the preparation. Once you soak the red beans overnight and cube the bacon slab the rest is plain sailing and the result is a superb rib sticker, good for everyone.
Be careful when preparing the scotch bonnet pepper, it is extremely hot and the heat from the pepper will find its way into your skin and linger for quite some time. So keep your fingers away from your eyes. You might want to wear gloves to handle the scotch bonnet pepper. Some say that if you rub your hands in some oil before touching them it provides a barrier, but I have never found that to be true. Just be careful.
You’ve got to give this one a try, it’s good for a family get together, game night, the last course of a boozy party night, I could go on.
- 3 cups of red kidney beans
- 3 bay leaves
- Bunch of thyme
- 2 lb smoked slab bacon (uncut)
- 1 large onion
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp allspice
- 6 cups of water
- 6 scallions (green stems only, thinly sliced)
- 3 cups of white rice
- 4 1/2 cups of boiling water
- 2 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 sprig of thyme
- Very large stockpot - at least 8 quarts
- Medium saucepan with cover
- Place kidney beans in a pan or container with a cover, add bay leaves and half of the bunch of thyme, then add boiling water until the kidney beans are covered completely.
- Cover pan or container and set aside for 1 hour.
- After an hour has passed, check the kidney beans, if the water has ben completely absorbed, top up the water with some more boiling water to make sure the kidney beans are completely submerged.
- Cover pan or container and set aside.
- Once the water has cooled, place kidney beans in fridge overnight to soak.
- Once kidney beans have soaked overnight, pour the kidney beans, bay leaves and thyme, and the water the beans was soaked in, into a stockpot and place on medium heat.
- Trim bacon slab, removing skin and excess fat.
- Cut bacon slab into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- Place bacon cubes into stockpot with kidney beans.
- Peel and cut onion into quarters and add to stockpot
- Trim and remove stalk from scotch bonnet, cut in half and remove seeds, then add to stockpot.
- Add garlic, allspice, the rest of the thyme, and 6 cups of water to the stockpot.
- Stir ingredients to combine, then cover and lower heat to simmer.
- Allow to cook for at least three hours, checking regularly.
- Make sure the sauce level remains constant, by adding more water when required.
- Once bacon is tender, taste sauce to ensure it is seasoned appropriately.
- Add additional seasoning (salt, allspice, garlic) if required.
- Wash rice and then place in saucepan.
- Pour boiling water over rice and place on high heat until rice begins to boil.
- Add butter and salt, stir.
- Place thyme on top of rice, cover and then lower heat to a simmer.
- Cook until water has evaporated and rice is soft to the bite.
- If the rice is a little too al dente, add a little more boiling water, cover and cook until water has evaporated. Make sure not to add too much water as this will make the rice sticky.
- Once cooked, allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Add 1/2 cup of rice to a bowl and pour a hearty helping of the red beans over the rice.
- Sprinkle some scallion slices over the top and serve.