When I think of comfort food, I think of beans. Not just any beans, but a good pot of simmering legumes that have a little kick to them. Since I’ve owned an Instant Pot, I can’t think of a better way to cook beans of any kind, especially when you want to infuse them with significant flavor. Creole is a culture and cuisine, from early French and Spanish settlers in Louisiana hundreds of years ago, Their food has a combination of tastes that are unique, and tend to be herbaceous, and tomato based, different than Cajun, and the spices used in their food are things most of us have in our pantries, and can create a most scrumptious meal, like red beans.
Red beans cover a wide spectrum of varieties, and in this bean dish you want to select a bean that is smaller in size, not a kidney bean. Smaller red beans, have a delicate taste and sometimes have a pinkish hue, as opposed to a deep red color. Most bags of beans, marked “red beans,” are a good choice for making this Creole dish, so don’t get caught up on a specific varietal.
Pork is most often added to Creole red beans and if you’re truly going traditional, a piece of Andouille sausage would be used. However in this recipe, I used some raw Memphis pork sausage links I received from Porter Road, a subscription meat company from Tennessee, because that’s what I had on hand, and I happen to love the flavor, but use your favorite, or what you already have in your refrigerator, and you can adjust the seasoning as needed. Meaty sausage melts into the creamy beans in the high intensity steam chamber of an Instant Pot, and the outcome is just brilliant. After a half hour or so, you have yourself a warm pot of bubbly beans ready for mealtime, and I will say, “those are some pretty great beans.” I like to serve them next to a scoop of hot rice, but they’re great straight from the pot.
2 1/2 cup red beans
1 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound good seasoned pork sausage, either raw or smoked
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup tomato sauce
3 scallions, sliced
oil for cooking
steam rice, optional
- Soak beans overnight, or do a quick soak (add beans and cover with water, heat to a boil and turn off heat, cover. Let rest 30 minutes, drain) on stove top.
- Sauté onion and garlic in 1 teaspoon oil in pot. Add sausage, breaking apart with spoon. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Add all seasoning, beans, chicken broth and tomato sauce and stir. Place lid on pot and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Let steam release naturally.
- Remove lid and stir. Ladle into bowls over hot rice, if desired. Sprinkle with scallions and serve. Enjoy!