Crockpot Red Beans and Rice

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice

This is the first time I have made this comfort meal in the Crockpot and I must say, it turned out really well.
No babysitting the dried beans. Nothing to do until serving time when you cook the sausage, shred the hocks, and make the rice.
This is a fairly inexpensive meal, especially if you use just the ham hocks and not add the sausage, but it certainly won't break the bank if you do add the sausage.
I browned the Kielbasa separately at the end of the cooking time of the beans and dumped it in while the rice was cooking.
I happen to like my meat cut up small and the rice stired in, but you can certainly have it the traditional way, with large chunks of meat and a scoop of rice on top of the beans.
Allow 10-12 hours to cook on low. The longer, the better.

1 pound dried red beans
2 smoked ham hocks
hot water, enough to cover the beans. About a quart
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced fine
Creole Seasoning to taste
1 pound Kielbasa or Smoked Sausage...optional

1 cup dried long grain rice, cooked to package directions.

Drop the beans, ham hocks, onion, pepper, celery, and garlic into the crockpot. Do not add the Creole Seasoning in yet. The salt in the seasoning will make the beans tough.
Cover the beans with hot water. About a quart of water is what I used. Stir to combine. Place lid on crock and let her slow cook on low for 10-12 hours.
Remove ham hocks and let them cool. Take a potato masher and mash the beans up slightly. You want them quite chunky, not pureed.
While the ham hocks are cooling, brown the Kielbasa in a fry pan and cook up the rice.
Shred the meat off the ham hocks. Discard bones, fat and skin if the skin freaks you out.
Place meat of the ham hocks and the sausage back into the crock with the beans, and season with the Creole Seasoning to taste. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up. Careful. It's some volatile stuff if you are not used to heat. I tend to go light on the seasoning here because my son doesn't like things that are too spicy.

When rice is done, fluff with a fork.
I like to stir my rice into the beans, but some people prefer to add a scoop of rice on top of their bowl of beans.

This reheats nicely in the nuker and possibly, even better the next day.
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