New Orleans Comfort Food - Red Beans

Nothing says comfort food in New Orleans like red beans. Normally served with rice, this is easy to put together and definitely a one-pot meal. The recipe calls for sausage, and I have to be honest that I use whatever I have on hand. This can be country sausage, andouille or even chorizo. For the ham, I usually buy a boneless ham in the meat department because it gives me more bang for the buck. Ham steaks provide the perfect amount for this recipe, but you can get the boneless ham for a couple bucks more and get twice as much meat. What you will love about this recipe is that you don't have to soak the beans! The color of the onion you use in this recipe is not important, use what is near to you. I am going to push the Cuisinart Pressure Cooker again in this recipe since it brings this meal to your table in an hour...

1 lb. sausage
1 lb. ham, medium dice
1 onion,
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. bag of dried red beans
6 cups water or stock
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme, removed from stems
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

In the bowl of your pressure cooker and the setting on brown, brown your sausage and break it into pieces. Remove from bowl and add onion and garlic until it becomes transluscent, roughly 4-5 minutes. Add the ham and sausage back into the bowl and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Add bay leaves, beans parsley, thyme, water, salt and pepper. Place lid on top of pressure cooker making sure pressure valve is set to 'pressure'. Turn setting to high pressure and time to 60 minutes. Walk away and enjoy life for an hour! When time is done, it will switch to warm. Make sure to move pressure release valve to 'pressure release' - do not attempt to open the pressure cooker until it has completely stopped releasing steam.

I make a slurry at this point with 2 tbsp. cornstarch and 1/4 cup water and add it to the pot. You may have to turn the setting to brown to bring it to a boil so the slurry blooms and thickens, this should only take a couple minutes. Serve alone or over rice...

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