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Red Beans and Rice with Ham Hock

These delicious and easy red beans and rice with ham hock is a meal the whole family will enjoy. It makes plenty for leftovers and the best part is it’s inexpensive! It’s the perfect meal for the chilly fall and winter seasons.

Red beans and rice with ham hock in a bowl.

Beans and rice around the world

Beans and rice is thought to have originated in Africa and traveled to the Americas somewhere between the 16th and 19th centuries.

This standard pairing has taken a different name and recipe distinction through time.

In some places, they are cooked together in the same pot, and in others they are cooked separately but served together on one plate.

Iterations of bean and rice dishes can be found all over the world.

Wherever you find yourself in the world, that country will have its own version of beans and rice.

Both ingredients have strong local significance in different cultures as a symbol of national identity.

In Latin America you’ll find gallo pintomoros y cristianos, or arroz con habichuelas.

The pairing of beans and rice is habitually called “matrimonio” or “the marriage” because the two make such a perfect pair. In El Salvador and Honduras it’s similarly called “casamiento” which also translates to “marriage”.

Creole cuisine’s red bean and rice dish is emblematic of their culture and is traditionally made on Mondays. Hoppin’ John, a variation mixing Carolina peas and rice is served across the Southern United States.

Beans and rice, the staple edibles

Beans and rice have had their own significance in history. Both are staple edibles in different parts of the globe.

Together, they form a healthy, hearty and satisfying meal.

Rice may very well be the backbone of Asian cuisine forming part of the region’s daily meals including snacks and desserts.

This basic grain, chock full of carbohydrates, is an important crop and has the ability to grow easily in diverse climates.

Beans are one of the most nutritious foods we can eat. High in fiber, and a plant-based protein superfood, this simple legume is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine.

Beans are present in many Latin American and African dishes such as drunken beans, enfrijoladas and these African rice and beans.

Ham hock red beans and rice

Whip up a batch of this soulful Red beans and rice dish in just a few hours.

Most of the time is hands off because the beans and other ingredients are left to simmer in a pot to develop flavor which allows you to multitask.

Nutritious, delicious, and loaded with flavors, it’s guaranteed to bring life to the whole family at mealtime.

The ingredients we need to make this dish are uncomplicated, budget-friendly, and super flexible.

A bag of small red beans.

Ingredients needed

Here are the ingredients we need for our red bean and rice dish:

Small red beans

I prefer to use dry beans. They have a better flavor and they’re cheaper. Make sure you get small red beans and not kidney beans. Many people confuse the two but they are different. Kidney beans are larger than small red beans and they are different in color. Kidney beans are a darker red color while small red beans are more pinkish in color.

Veggies

We’ll be using celery, onion, green bell pepper and garlic cloves. A neutral tasting yellow or white onion is best for our beans and rice dish. Always use fresh garlic for the best flavor.

Spices, seasonings and herbs

We’ll need cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper, dried thyme and bay leaf. Cajun seasoning is a Creole versatile seasoning that brings bold and lively flavors to our dish. Thyme offers a balanced earthiness minty and citrus-laced note to our dish.

Ham hock

Traditional recipes will call for Andouille sausage. Originating in France, it is a smoky, medium spicy, sodium and saturated fat-rich piece of meat. Get my drift? I would really recommend using ham hocks as a recipe ingredient variation. Ham hock will create a rich, nourishing broth to flavor our dish. The pigskin and fat will be an outstanding factor that will render collagen into the broth. Later the meat from the ham hock will be removed and added to the broth.

Cooked white rice

Use white long grain rice or a healthier multi-grain substitute if preferred. Simply cook the white rice according to the instructions on the bag.

Other ingredients

We’ll also be using olive oil and water.

How to make red beans and rice with ham hock

First heat up the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once hot add the celery, bell pepper and onion. These three are considered the “holy trinity” in cajun cuisine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Then add the garlic, cajun seasoning and thyme and cook for another minute.

celery bell pepper and onion in a pot.

Next add the ham hock, beans and water. Bring it to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours.

Cooking red beans and rice with ham hock.

Remove the ham hock from the pot and transfer to a plate. Let it cool for a bit because the meat will need to be removed from it and shredded.

Ham hock on a black plate.

While letting the ham hock cool use a potato masher to mash the red beans. Just how mashed you want them is up to you. You can mash some and leave some whole.

Season with salt to taste.

I prefer to mash most of the beans because this results in a creamy and smooth texture.

Once you mash the beans to your desired texture remove the pot from heat.

Mashing red beans with a potato masher.

Once the ham hock has cooled down enough to be handled remove the meat and discard the skin and fat.

Shred the meat and add it back to the pot of beans. Stir well to combine.

Serve the red beans with ham hock meat over white rice and enjoy!

Red beans with shredded meat from a ham hock.

What to serve with red beans and rice?

This red beans and rice dish with ham hock is flavor-packed and comforting. It’s great all on its own.

However you could also serve it with some cornbread on the side to sop up all of that good sauce. Serving it with cornbread is a true Louisianan red bean and rice treat.

Since the bean and rice dish already offers a nutritive dose of carbohydrates and protein, making collared greens on the side or simple steamed veggies rounds it off with a healthy balance.

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Red beans and rice recipe with ham hocks

I hope you give this easy red beans and rice recipe a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

I’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments below and don’t forget to leave it a rating!

Thanks for visiting!

A bowl of red beans and rice with sliced green onions.
Red beans and rice with ham hock in a bowl.
5 from 1 vote
Print

Red Beans and Rice with Ham hock

Red beans and rice with ham hock is an easy, yummy and inexpensive meal the whole family will enjoy!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword red beans and rice with ham hock
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 350 kcal
Author Carissa

Ingredients

  • 1 lb small red beans
  • 3 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb ham hock
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 6 cups water
  • cooked white rice

Instructions

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Once hot add the celery, bell pepper and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 min.

  2. Next add the garlic, cajun seasoning and thyme. Cook for another minute.

  3. Then add the ham hock, beans and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours.

  4. Remove the ham hock from the pot and transfer to a plate. Let it cool for a bit because the meat will need to be removed from it and shredded.

  5. Use a potato masher to mash the red beans to your desired consistency. Salt to taste. Then remove the pot from the heat.

  6. Once the ham hock has cooled down enough to be handled remove the meat and discard the skin and fat.

  7. Then shred the meat and add it back to the pot of beans. Stir well to combine.

  8. Serve over cooked white rice and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Red Beans and Rice with Ham hock
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 413mg18%
Potassium 613mg18%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 415IU8%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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