Thursday Recipe Exchange: Wash Day Beans and Rice

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Since this is the weekly recipe exchange, when I settled on red beans and rice, I decided to go googling around the internet and see what everyone else thought red beans and rice should be. I stumbled across the photo above and knew I had to include it tonight. The recipe isn’t that much different from what I’ve been making for years. If it’s good enough for one of my favorite performers, it’s good enough for me.

I live within walking distance of a Lucille’s restaurant that I do not visit often enough. Mostly because it is open only for breakfast and lunch. A week or so ago, I realized I really wanted their Wash Day Lunch, but didn’t see how it would fit into my schedule that week. Then I remembered I had a big jar of Lucille’s spice in my cupboard. The solution seemed simple, I’d make a batch of red beans and rice, tonight’s featured recipe.

Of course, JeffreyW has his own take on this, with great photos to accompany his Red Beans and Rice with Pickle Pork (click here to see it, you know you want to).

For tonight’s featured recipe, I threw on my Zydeco cds and started chopping and sautéing. Set it to simmer all day and finished it off with some delicious buttermilk corn bread.

Red Beans and Rice

  • 1 lb. Kidney Beans
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Water or vegetable broth
  • 6 small Ham Hocks or one smoked Pork Butt, wash well and pat dry
  • 1 tbsp (or more as desired) of Creole spice, I favor Lucille’s
  • 1/2 lb. of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced*
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 links andouille sausage

Saucepan or dutch oven, skillet


Wash beans thoroughly, cover them with cold water and soak overnight. Pour water off, cover with fresh water and cook until tender. I use a pressure cooker, because at this altitude it’s the only way to get tender beans and it takes less than 30 minutes. Once tender, drain and add chopped tomato, Creole spice, ham hocks, a bit of water or vegetable broth and simmer on low.

In skillet, cook bacon until slightly crisp, drain on a paper towel. Add to bean mixture.

Remove all but 2 tbsp of bacon fat from the skillet, add diced onions, bell pepper and carrot. Sauté on medium heat until tender, add garlic, cook additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add everything to the beans, turn to low and let simmer at least 3 hours, ham should be falling off the bone. I like the idea of simmering all day for the best flavor. Add more water or broth as needed to keep it from drying out.

About an hour before serving, I sliced the sausage in half lengthwise and browned on both sides in a skillet, I then added it to the bean mixture to simmer.

*carrot is optional, but I find it adds a nice sweetness to the dish.

Serve over rice with corn bread. Makes 6 good sized servings.


I used brown rice for this dish and loved the flavor with the spicy bean mixture.

  • 2 cups brown rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water

Saucepan or pressure cooker

Add water and rice to pan, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and cook until all water is absorbed, about 45 minutes with traditional saucepan and 25 minutes with a pressure cooker.