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Course: Mains
Keyword: Comfort Food, Make-Ahead, Pork, Red Beans and Rice, Southern

Red Beans and Rice

TOTAL TIME: 3 days 3 hours
Yield: 8 servings
The method I use for cooking the rice is a rather unorthodox one. It's speedy, and I find it results in a better, more consistent product than plain steaming. Because the rice is sautéed over high heat, more of the grains' nutty flavors are released.
Note: If you don't have time to pickle your pork, use unsmoked slab bacon cut into chunks.
This recipe first appeared in Season 12 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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Pickled Pork

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 8 ounces ice
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh boneless pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes

For the beans

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces pickled pork, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pound red kidney beans, rinsed and picked of debris

For the rice

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Specialized Hardware

7-quart Dutch oven
Electric kettle
TOTAL TIME: 3 days 3 hours
Yield: 8 servings


Pickled Pork

  • Combine all of the ingredients except the ice and the pork in a 2-quart non-reactive saucepan set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and maintain a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the ice and stir. Place the pork into a 1-gallon zip-top bag and add the cooled pickling liquid. Remove as much air as possible, then seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 days, turning the bag occasionally. Use within 2 weeks or remove from the pork from the brine and freeze.

Red Beans and Rice

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and celery are semi-translucent and the bell peppers are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the pickled pork, bay leaves, thyme, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, water, and beans to the pot and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat slightly to maintain a steady simmer and continue to cook until the beans are tender and the sauce is thickened to your liking, another 30 to 40 minutes. If you prefer an even creamier texture, mash some of the beans with a potato masher.
  • Prepare rice during the last 30 minutes of cooking the beans. Place the water into an electric kettle and bring to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, place the butter into a 3-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Once the butter begins to bubble, add the rice and stir to combine. Add the salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Carefully pour the water over the rice and stir to combine. Decrease the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the beans over the rice.
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