This is a classic example of a Make Do with What’s On Hand meal. The happy thing about this particular meal was that we didn’t just make do–we ate Very, Very Well. Friends Thomas and Roberta brought us a baggie of peppers of Unknown Hotness from their garden. I had some happy andouille in the fridge and some lovely basmati in a big old sack, and this meal was born.
Turns out, the peppers of Unknown Hotness were Extremely hot, hence the Enormous blob of sour cream. Regardless, this was a fantastic meal. Use whatever sausage you have; it would be great with Mexican flavors and chorizo or Italian flavors with a fennel-heavy spicy Italian sausage. Like most of my recipes, it’s just a template: beans+meat+spices+rice=yum. Fill in the blanks with your favorite flavors.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound Andouille sausage, , cut into 1/2" discs
- 1 large onion, , diced
- 2 cloves garlic, , minced
- 3 ribs celery, , diced
- salt and pepper, , to taste
- 2 cups water, , vegetable broth or chicken stock (I just went with water)
- Cajun seasoning, , to taste (I used about 2 teaspoons, I think)
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- about 2 cups seeded, , diced mixed chiles (Use bell peppers for less heat or a mixture of poblano, serrano and jalapeno for more heat)
- 3/4 cups black beans, , picked over and rinsed
- flour and water slurry to thicken
- In a large, heavy skillet, brown the sausage in the oil. Remove to the slow cooker.
- Cook onion, garlic and celery in the same pan until golden. Season with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Remove to the slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the slurry, and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until beans are tender.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Whisk in as much of the slurry as necessary to thicken the cooking liquid to your liking.
- Serve over rice with grated jack or pepper jack cheese and/or a big dollop of sour cream.
You can even use some light lager for the cooking liquid. If using Mexican flavors, stick with a darker Mexican beer like Negro Modelo. If cooking in a Dutch oven instead of a slow cooker, you can brown the meat and aromatics in the Dutch oven before cooking. One-pot easy-ness!