Soak the beans overnight as this is very important. Make sure they are covered with water.
The next day, drain out the old water and put hot water in a pot to cover the beans. Bring the beans to a rolling boil always making sure that the beans are covered in water or will be hard. Boil the beans for about 60 minutes, until the beans are tender and drain.
Meanwhile, put the onion, bell pepper, and celery in a food processor and pulse till veggies are finely chopped. While the beans are boiling, saute the veggies in olive oil on medium heat until they turn translucent then add the garlic and saute for a few minutes stirring occasionally making sure not to burn the garlic as that would give a bitter taste. If using sausage (I use pan sausage), brown in a frying pan (if using smoked sausage, kielbasa or andouille you can skip the browning). When the beans are done, drain them again and add the veggies and the sausage(s) and mix. and add enough warm/hot tap water just to cover because they will be tough and turn white if not. Add , smoked sausage, seasonings (I use Emeril''''''''s Creole Seasoning as a homemade mix found on Big Oven).
Bring to a boil and lower a bit to simmer with lid not closed all the way to allow the water to evap some. Cook for 2-3 hours while occasionally stirring to prevent sticking, until the water in the pot sort of turns a little thicker and the beans become more tender but not mushy. This would be a good point to taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Also, if you aren''''t using leftover rice, you should cook the rice according to package directions. At the end of the cook time, remove the bay leaves and stir in the cooked rice. Some people like their beans creamy but I like them bursting. It is up to your individual taste.
I always double this recipe because it takes so long to cook and I freeze half for a later use. Beans taste better the second time around trust me! When you reheat, do so on the stovetop. You might have to add some water to make them to the right consitancy and prevent burning. My husband likes to top his with sour cream and sometimes shredded cheddar. You can top with whatever you want or nothing at all.
I doubled this to make a large batch being that it takes so long to make and I froze half for a later use. I added 2 cups of cooked rice to the beans when they were done. My husband and the kids raved about this so it was well worth the effort and the time it took to make.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (531g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 36 (9%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 4g||5 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.7g||4 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 2.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.9g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 52.4mg||2 %|
|Potassium 923.5mg||24 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 77.8g||23 %|
|Dietary Fiber 13g||52 %|
|Sugars, other 64.8g|
|Protein 15.4g||22 %|
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Calories per serving: 391
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