When we worked in Massachusetts occasionally we needed to go into Boston. Laura upon return home on the Mass Turnpike, would stop in at a Popeye’s for Red Beans and Rice. Their’s were the best and we feel bad that we cannot find one around here. So in desperation we tried to make our own the other night using the Instant Pot. The advantage of using the Instant Pot over the conventional technique, is you do not have to soak the beans over night and they are ready (because you cook them under pressure) in a very short time.
Well, it was a partial success. We got the seasonings and flavor right, but the texture of the beans was off. We like ours very soft. These were too chalky; they needed to be softer and creamier. Plus there was too much liquid.
So undaunted we made them again. This time we extended the cooking time and reduced the amount of liquid and voila! Great beans.
Red Beans and Rice
2 ounces bacon (about 2 slices), diced
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced fine
1 medium stalk celery, diced fine
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 pound dried red beans
1 pound andouille or kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch half circles
6 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
6 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1. Rinse and sort beans.
2. Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot, add bacon and cook until lightly browned and the fat has rendered, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
3. Add the sausage and saute for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon.
4. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 8 minutes more.
5. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
6. Add the black pepper, cayenne, hot pepper sauce, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, beans, chicken broth, and 6 cups water and bring to a boil.
7. Cover pot and lock the lid, turn the valve to sealing. Press Manual button and set to 75 minutes under high pressure.
8. When the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes. Then turn the valve to venting.
9. Remove lid and use a potato masher to mash beans to desired creamy consistency. Return sausage and bacon and using the Saute button bring everything to a boil.
10. Adjust the seasonings, adding more salt or hot pepper sauce as desired.
11. Serve the beans in a shallow bowl over fluffy white rice.
12. Garnish with scallions and/or pickled onions.