For some strange reason I had the urge to create a meal in "honor" of Black Friday. I have no reason other than sometimes cooking has to be fun and I just needed to do something different. The only way to represent Black Friday properly would have to create an all black meal.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find foods that are black? It’s not all that easy. So I decided that black beans would do the trick. And when I was able to locate some black sweet rice at the asian market I knew I had the right formula.
First a little about Black Sweet Rice. I bought the rice because it was black. I had no idea what it tasted like or how it would work. Once I got home I did a little research and learned that Black Sweet Rice is mostly used in Indonesia and Thailand to make sweet deserts like puddings and cakes. It’s rarely used as the primary rice in a meal. Black Sweet Rice has a nice nutty flavor and I thought it might still work as a compliment in the black bean recipe I was going to make.
Black Sweet Rice is hard as a rock. You’ve got to soak this stuff for up to 10 hours before actually cooking it. It take a long time to make it soft enough to actually eat in a meal like I was preparing. So if you find yourself wanting to use it leave yourself plenty of cooking time.
This is my standard Red Beans & Rice recipe, except this time I used black beans. I also normally use a smoked ham hock but I found some smoked pork necks at the store and used them instead. They worked out great. I put the whole mixture in the Traeger on the smoke setting for a couple of hours to see if I could get more smoke flavor. Not really sure how much that worked.
All and all it tasted amazing. I really liked the sweet rice with the beans. It actually was a good combination.
- 1½ cups green onions, chopped
- 2 cups onions, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup bacon drippings
- 1 pound dried beans, traditionally red (but black works)
- 1 ham bone, ham hock or other smoked pork product
- 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced in ½ inch slices
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Hot Sauce to taste
- ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped (or parsley if you prefer)
- The night before put the beans in a large bowl and cover them with water. Soak overnight.
- The next morning rinse beans throughly. In a large dutch oven saute onions, celery and garlic in the bacon drippings until softened.
- Add all other ingredients, except cilantro, to the dutch oven.
- Add enough water to cover everything.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered until the beans are tender. Plan on 2 or 3 hours. Remove bay leaves and add the cilantro just before serving. Serve with hot rice.