But I think I have GOT IT!! The PERFECT red beans and rice. And its so damn early in the morning, I can’t even dance!!

Okay, the recipe is really similar to the chili/rajma recipes which I have made before, but here it goes.

Fry about 300 gms of spiced pork salami, roughly chopped, in a bit of oil inside a pressure cooker. Season with a stick of cinnamon and 2 blades of mace. Add 500 gms of soaked red beans (rajma). Cover with 1.5 liters of chicken stock. Cook under pressure heat till the pressure cooker gives one whistle on high, then remove and let it rest for at least 4 hours before proceeding.

In a large dutch oven/karai put in about 100 gms of trimmed fat from a side of ham. (Oh lovely, lovely Kalman, what shall I do without you?? You keep my heart’s desire!!) let it cook till all the fat has come out and the ham is crispy to the core. Give the crispy ham to your pretty self, render the ham fat. Put in about 300 gms of beef. Minced. Yes. Its a meat extravaganza. But its my party.

Fry the beef over high heat, breaking it up into bits, and add to it a large pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar.

Add to the beautiful brown concoction two onions roughly diced and about 25 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and minced to render all the garlicky goodness. Mix.

Add 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, or a teaspoon and half of dried, 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, and 1 nutmeg, grated over the fire.

Fry for another minute, and add about 1/2 cup of tomato puree (125 gms). Cook till the tomato puree is almost dried out and the fat glistens out.

Mix in about 1/3 of a cup of red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce, deglazing quickly before pouring in the semi-cooked red beans. Mix mix mix.

Put the whole concoction back to the pan and put the pressure on. Let the pressure come to a full, rolling boil before simmering and letting the beans cook for at least 40 minutes.

Remove.

Rest for 3 hours.

Gently fold in 2 tablespoons of prepared English Mustard and 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce (extra smoky, I refuse to name the brand) and 1/3 of a cup of milk. Mix well. Heat through. Serve.

Weirdest Red beans on Rice. Nothing but the creamy nutty flavor of fluffy rice to complement this. And maybe some crispy fried bits of ham.

Footnote: You can substitute the ham fat for REALLY fatty bacon.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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