My paternal grandmother Mata used to make Red Beans and Rice at least once a week. I would always go to her house for lunch because they were always ready to eat early. My grandmother believed in getting her beans on the stove early and in a couple of hours they are ready to eat. Now my grandmother always used pickled pork. Pickled pork is always available in New Orleans but sometimes you can’t find it outside of the state. If you have trouble finding pickled pork then you will have to substitute with something like Ham or Ham Hocks.
Salt pork is not the same as pickled pork. Some people put smoked sausage in their beans also. My grandmother wouldn’t be caught dead with anything but pickled pork in her red beans, but you will have to do what you have to do to substitute. The beans will still taste good. Also, you notice she used Crisco lard which is also probably not available every where. I guess you would substitute a tablespoon of vegetable oil but my grandmother just turned over in her grave and I felt her slap me on the back of my head.
Anyway, get you a good heavy pot and she always used Magnalite pots. Also her 2 fingers of water is about 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Cooking red beans is like boiling water and just add the ingredients. One last thing that my grandmother used to do is to wash the beans in running water and let them soak in the pot for at least 30 minutes before adding ingredients putting them on the stove. You don’t need to add salt until after especially if you use pickle pork.
RED BEANS AND RICE
1 lb. red beans
1 Tbsp. Crisco lard
2 slices pickled pork
7 or 8 toes garlic
1 large onion
2 c. rice
Cook red beans until tender, then add 1 tablespoon Crisco. Scald pickled pork to get some of the salt off, then add pork to beans. Chop onions and garlic and add to beans. Add pepper to taste. Will not need salt because of pickled pork. Serve over rice. To cook rice, cover with water two fingers over rice and set to boil. When water is out of rice, turn fire low and let steam with the pot covered.