Louie Armstrong, who famously signed his letters "red beans and ricely yours" in so doing acknowledged a long standing love musicians have for beans, or rather, have to have. They are, after all, -musical! Perhaps more to the point, it's a poor folks delight. They fill you up inexpensively and if done right can give your soul food too. While I personally have never met a bean I didn't like... black-eyed peas, navy, cannellini, cuban black beans and all sorts, red beans done southwest style are my all-time favourite. No one really taught me this recipe it's just something I've tweaked for years and explored different ideas. In New Orleans and parts of the south you may add chorizo sausage to the like to a similar recipe and everyone has their wee take on it. it's a bit like almighty jazz in that I've never played (made) the same thing once! So take what I say with a grain of salt.... but do make it sea salt please.
Impala-style southwest Red Beans (and rice)
*from the indian places around Edinburgh (and the world) you can get large bags off red kidney beans. I generally use half of one of these big bags per recipe. I'm not fortunate enough to own one, but a huge enamel crock pot is ideal for this kind of thing. Le Creuset.
Take half a bag of beans put in large tall pot with lid. Fill pot more a little more than half way with water. Bring beans to a boil with a TableSpoon of baking soda, A TableSpoon of sea salt and an couple tablespoons of proper apple cider vinegar.
I often cool this down and bring to a boil three times in a night with the lid on, let rest over night,... rinse the beans and now you have beans that are detoxified and easier to digest. They will cook down faster as well, using less energy. Bad beans will stay floating and can easily be removed.
Tablespoon of Sea Salt
and entire large head 1/2 of garlic (peeled)
A couple cans of tomatoes,
Tomato paste 1/3 of a tube
Half a jar of chipotle paste (or more?),
Five big squirts of Heintz ketchup
Splash of Olive Oil.
Splash of cider vinegar
Half a cube of lard or butter. Lard is preferred.
Couple Tablespoons of brown sugar
Bring to a boil,.. reduce temp. add salt to taste. Cook with the lid off to boil out the water making sure the beans have enough water (add if needed)
**Stir right, banish the negative,..Stir left invoking the good. I try not to stir without this intention, this will aid digestion and bring luck and creativity to those who enjoy it.**
after a couple of hours I add:
Jalepénos from a jar (to taste)
3 Tablespoon Cumin (I never measure this though and sometimes forget it
sprinkle of Tabasco (not a lot, folks like to dose their own adventure)
heaping tsp of powdered smoked paprika (not that important)
chunk of butter
splash of olive oil
sea salt to taste
You can vary this recipe by adding sautéed 2 chopped onion with 2 chopped green pepper and seasoned salted mincemeat for a hearty chilli. I sweat my onions with apple juice or wine. Always add the meat last to the onion and pepper and add all this last to the beans. I tend to separate them into two different pot in case I have hungry vegetarians about.
This pot of beans stirred and watched on the stove for five hours ....easily.
Served with fresh red sliced onions, grated cheese, dollop of organic yogurt. Make into fajita style burritos with Dr. Dirk's famous Salsa!