Sorry for the delay in posting, this time of year is crazy... taxes... life...lol! This recipe is amazingly hearty, easy to make, though a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort.
Red Beans and Rice
1 lb. dried red kidney beans
Water to cover beans
1/4 lb. salt pork(with as much lean meat on it as possible), cut into 1 inch squares, about 1/2 inch thick; OR coarsely chopped bacon
4 cups water
About 5 qts (total) Chicken stock
3/4 lb. tasso, or other smoked ham such as Cure 81, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green pepper (for me this is too much, I use about 3/4 cup)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 Tblsp minced garlic
salt to taste (I find with the meats & chicken stock, generally not much additional salt is needed)
About 6 cups hot cooked rice
Cover the beans with water at least 3 inches above the beans; soak overnight. Drain.
Place the salt pork in a 2 qt. saucepan with 4 cups of water. Place over high heat & bring to a boil. (If you use bacon omit this step) Reduce heat to maintain a strong simmer & cook about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain well, & set aside.
In a heavy 5 1/2 quart saucepan or large Dutch oven, combine the beans with 7 cups of the chicken stock. Place over high heat & bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping bottom of pan well so beans won't stick. Continue boiling until the liquid barely covers the beans; about 25 minutes, stirring & scraping frequently so beans won't scorch. NOTE: If they do scorch... change to a new pan without stirring them.
Stir in 2 cups more stock & return to boil, stirring frequently. Continue boiling until liquid has again reduced enough that it barely covers beans, about 15 minutes, stirring and scraping pan bottom frequently. Add 2 more cups of stock; cook and stir about 15 minutes. Add 3 more cups stock; cook and stir until beans are very tender (both centers and hulls) and don't taste starchy, about 30 -40 minutes. NOTE: If beans require longer cooking to be tender, continue cooking adding stock or water as needed, 1 - 2 cups at a time.
Now stir in 2 more cups of stock and add the tasso (ham), onions, bell pepper, celery & garlic. Return to a boil & cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the reserved salt pork (or bacon) and continue cooking over high heat about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer & cook until flavors meld, about 30 minutes, stirring & scraping pan bottom frequently.
Finally, you may stir in chopped green onions and parsley if desired at this point and add more stock or water if you want "juicier" beans; continue cooking about 10 minutes more, stirring frequently & being careful not to let the beans scorch. Remove from heat& add salt, if needed. Serve immediately.
To serve, allow about 3/4 cup rice mounded in the center of a plate, surrounded by about 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans.
6 - 8 main dish servings