Bear in mind that individual tastes vary and what this formula produces may not be to your satisfaction. That's when it must be remembered that a recipe is only a guide. Follow it once, then deviate. See something you don't like, don't put it in there. Think of something different all on your own - go for it.
Here's what's in it:
2 cups dry red beans. You can soak them over night or boil them two minutes and then simmer until done. I have done it both ways and don't see much difference. Here's what I do:
I cover the beans with water and bring to a vigorous rolling boil and let that go for 2 minutes. Cover and reduce the heat to a nice simmer. Be sure there's enough water not to run dry.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan sauté the vegetables below until the onion becomes transparent, then dump that into the beans. ( You can sauté the vegetables in the bean pot, then put the beans and water in and go from there if you want to )
1 large white onion coarsely chopped. Any kind of onion will work, just so it is a big one.
2 or 4 cloves garlic minsed. ( If you want, you can use garlic powder. You won't die and go to hell. Nobody will know. )
1 medium bell pepper coarsely chopped.
2 stalks of celery sliced longitudinally and thinly sliced - on the diagonal, of course.
Once all this is combined I like to add some vegetable stock - if you have veganistic tendencies - or chicken stock if you don't give a hoot about such things. By the way, I have always wondered that if I use animal manure to fertilize tomatoes can a vegan or vegetarian eat my tomatoes with a clear conscience?
Many times I also chop up a fresh pealed tomato or dump a can of diced tomatoes into the pot. Be flexible.
You will notice there is no meat in this. The reason for this is that I didn't have any. I know, you thought I had some deep seated spiritual reason for this omission but I just didn't have anything. I like some smoked flavor if possible.
I would liked to have had a smoked ham hoc to throw into the pot and or some andouille sausage. If you use the hoc then when it's all done you'll need to pick the meat off the bone. It'll fall of easily. The sausage should be added toward the end of cooking so as not to dry out. At least that's my experience.
Now let's talk about seasoning. I used approximately:
1 t salt
1 t freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper.
1 T Pickapeppa pepper sauce. If you don't know Pickapeppa Sauce you need to go get some. It's Jamaica's finest contribution to your pot of beans and many other bland foods in your pantry.
1 T Tabasco regular.
1 T Tabasco Chipotle sauce.
1/2 t smoked paprika.
I didn't add any herbs but I sometimes do. Oregano, Marjoram, Basil or something else you might think of.
Here's the thing about beans: You have to decide if you want bean soup or beans that are a little thicker, to put on rice. If you are thinking red beans and rice then they need to be cooked down and become "creamy" thick. It really doesn't matter, it's just the way I like them.
If this doesn't work out for you, don't call me. I'll be out of town for a month or so. It it works out to your ecstatic satisfaction, then I'll be happy to receive your praise any hour day or night.
Jeeze, I forgot to mention epazote. It helps to reduce the possibility of gas production. Popular in Mexico. It is, however, a renewable source of energy. Be well, and stay tuned.