Alabama-style Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
This is a Cajun inspired dish with an Alabama twist. The traditional recipe for Red Beans and Rice used andouille sausage, a Cajun ingredient. I opted for Conecuh Sausage, an Alabama ingredient. Based out of Evergreen, AL, Conecuh Sausage is the best commercial smoked sausage I’ve ever tasted.
Small red beans, historically used in the recipe, either fell out of favor or became hard to find. Kidney beans are used most now. I was thrilled to find a package of small red beans at my grocery store. REAL red beans. They’re smaller than kidney beans and taste more like pinto beans than kidney beans. I was happy to have an authentic ingredient.
1 pound dried small red beans or kidney beans
1/2 to 1 pound Conecuh smoked sausage
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 stalk celery including leaves, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 to 2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (I use Season-all)
Soak beans in water overnight. The next day, drain beans and add to slow cooker along with all other ingredients except sausage. Cut sausage in 1 inch pieces and brown. Drain and add to slow cooker.
Browning the sausage will add flavor, help the sausage hold up to a long cooking time and render off some of the fat.
The big white iceberg looking thing is the stock that frozen solid. I forget to get it out of the freezer last night. Cook on high for 6 to 7 hours or until the beans are tender.
Serve with Basmati rice.