1 lb. of red beans, dry
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
5 stalks of celery
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 ham hock
3 strips of bacon
1lb andouille or smoked sausage
1tbsp. dried thyme
1 Bay leaf
Salt to taste
Red pepper sauce
Soak the beans overnight. Or , place the beans in a large pot and cover them with water and bring to a boil quickly, then lower the heat to med.-low and allow them to simmer for 1 hour. You can also use four cans of already cooked kidney beans as a substitute. It doesn’t turn out quite as good, however.
In a frying pan cook three pieces of bacon, then put them aside. Keep the grease in the pan. Chop the onion, green pepper and celery and cook them together in the bacon grease until the onion begins to become clear. Add the garlic at the last minute.
Cut the sausage into small pieces, about ¼ of an inch thick. Don’t cut them too thin, they shouldn’t be like pepperoni slices. Now take all the ingredients, including the cooked bacon and the ham hock and place them in a crock pot. Add water until it just barely covers the ingredients.
Adjust the spices to your liking.
Put the crock pot on low and let the mixture cook all day. You can even start it a day early and just let it cook for a full 24 hours. The red beans should be creamy when you are ready to eat. If they are not, take a fork and mash some of the beans against the side of the crock pot. This will release the starch from the beans and make the mixture creamy.
Serve over white rice and add a little hot sauce if you want it spicier.