Our budget friendly dinner

A friend and I have both discovered that our family likes red beans and rice!  It’s a great use of cheap and nutritious food.  Most of the meal is kidney beans and rice.  Our recipe has 1 pound of sausage, but some call for as little meat as a little bacon or meat from a ham hock.   We were gifted some wild boar sausage, so that’s what we are using tonight.  It’s delicious!  If you would have asked me a few years (and kids) ago, if I would eat wild boar or elk or home butchered chickens the answer would have been a big fat NO!!!  Venison we had on occasion and that’s ok, but all that other “strange stuff”, I don’t think so!  Well times and situations have changed and we have changed the way we eat.  Lots of homemade and we have tried lots of different available meats!  I am so glad we did and we are healthier for it.

Here’s the recipe are are having tonight from Hillbilly Housewife:

Red Beans & Rice

  • 1 pound dry kidney beans (approximately 6 cups cooked)
  • 2 quarts of tap water
  • 1 pound turkey sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Good shot of Tabasco Sauce
  • Hot Cooked Brown Rice or White Rice (double the recipe for the rice)

Soak the kidney beans overnight in the tap water, or you can use the quick soak method. Bring them to a boil in the tap water, and then let them sit, covered, on the back of the stove for an hour or two.

After you have done the initial bean preparations let them boil for about an hour or until they are getting tender. While they cook you can prepare the vegetables and the meat. The onion, celery and garlic will need chopping.

Fry the turkey sausage in a large skillet. Crumble it up with a fork as it cooks. Set the sausage aside until the beans have cooked at least an hour.

After the beans have softened up and are getting close to tender, it is time to add the rest of the ingredients. If your sausage is spicy, you may not want to add the Hot Sauce, so taste it before adding any willy-nilly. If your sausage is not spicy then a small shot of Hot Sauce will marry nicely with the rest of the dish. Simmer the beans, sausage and vegetables for about a half an hour longer, or until the beans are all the way tender. I put the brown rice on to cook right before I add the vegetables and sausage to the beans. This gets them both done at about the same time.

Serve this by scooping up a big glob of rice into a cereal bowl. Next ladle a goodly amount of the bean mixture on top of the rice. Eat with black pepper, and a little vinegar on the side, for tangy-ness. I like biscuits and all-fruit jelly with this dish. I make the biscuits right after the vegetables and sausage go into the pot. They are usually done by the time the family sits down at the table and finishes saying grace.

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