- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
- Salt and cayenne, to taste
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pound smoked ham hocks
- 1/2 pound boiled pickled pork meat* (see note)
- 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over, soaked and drained
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 10 cups chicken stock, or water
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery, and bell peppers to the saucepan. Season the vegetables with salt and cayenne. Saute the vegetables for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start to wilt. Add the bay leaves, thyme, ham hocks, and pork meat and saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the beans, garlic, and stock or water. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Cook for about 2 hours, uncovered. Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. Use a wooden spoon to mash 1/4 of the mixture. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender and creamy. Add more liquid if it is too thick. The mixture should be soupy, but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. To serve, ladle into bowls with rice. Garnish with green onions.
* Note: Pickled pork meat needs to be blanched for 5 minutes in boiling water and then drained before using.
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