Rinse and sort the beans, picking out any rocks and bad beans.
Soak overnight, or in a large pot, bring to a boil for 10 minutes and let soak for 30 minutes.
For each pound of beans you will need:
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 to 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
One or two of the following meats:
- 2 ham hocks
- 1 package pickled meat
- 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
Transfer to a slow cooker, adding seasoning vegetables as well as one large or two small ham hocks. I only had one smallish ham hock from Honey Ham, so I also added some pickled meat. Simmer for 8 to 10 hours on medium in the slow cooker. Towards the end, taste for salt and add if needed. Remove the ham hock and/or pickled meat and let cool. Dice or shred the meat and return to the pot. Sometimes the meat provides enough flavor, sometimes it doesn’t. Of course, you can do this on the stove. But, the last time I attempted this on the stove, my kitchen almost caught on fire. One of my first posts on this blog turned out to be the closest I ever got to a fire. As I was walking out of the house to take some eggs to the neighbors, I turned the burner to “warm”. Only, as I found out 30 minutes later as smoke poured out my front door, I had actually set it to “high”. A costly mistake.
This is the first time I’ve made red beans since then, and I hope that these turn out near as good as the burnt ones (before they burned!)
I cooked a double batch ( 2 pounds), so reduce accordingly if you just cook one. And, to be honest, I had to scoop out about 1 1/2 cups of the beans from the slow cooker as it was overflowing. I don’t recommend 2 pounds of beans in the slow cooker.
Serve over rice
Freezes very well.