My favorite dish from Laverne was her Red Beans & Rice with Rib Tips. I've tried to replicate it over the years and I think I'm really close. Have a look!
You will need:
- 2 Bell Peppers (diced)
- 1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)
- 3 Stalks of Celery (diced)
- 2 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers (diced)
- 1 Leftover Ham Bone (if you have one)
- 1 Dozen Rib Tips, or hunks of salt pork, bacon ends, or a few ham-hocks
- 1lb Dry Red Kidney Beans (Not canned. Canned beans are gross.)
- 2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce
- Your favorite Cajun Seasoning (I like Tony Chachere's)
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Filet Gumbo (not necessary, but good if you got it)
- 1/2 Gallon Chicken Stock
- 1/2 Head of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- Lots of cooked rice
Then, add 1/2 gallon of Chicken Stock, bump the heat to HIGH and wait for it to boil.
While you're waiting, look around to see if you have a leftover ham bone, chuck it into the pot. Where, on earth, do you get a ham bone like this?? From smoking a whole bone-in ham, of course. It won't be the end of the world if you don't have one, but HOOO, Boyo, it's better if you do!
Filet Gumbo if you have some. Give the pot a final stir, reduce the heat so a "strong simmer" and lid her up. Simmer this goodness for two hours, stirring every 1/2 hour or so. Really get in there and stir it! Don't be afraid of crushing any beans, the additional starch they release will help thicken the gravy. I have no idea how that jar of Whisky got into the picture, but it's a good idea to have a snort or two during the simmer. There's nothing quite like the food breeze of a big pot of beans and Whisky! After two hours, taste a few of the beans. They should be soft enough for you to crush with your tongue against the roof of your mouth, but just barely.
I'd like to think Laverne would be proud of this dish. I imagine her looking over my shoulder and giving me a big hug, over a glass of Whisky. I only wish she was here to bring pie...