Kittee today! One of the biggest reasons I bought an Instant Pot, was because I’d fallen off of my bean game. We love beans around here, but when we moved to Portland from New Orleans, I gave away our crock pot and never replaced it. We like beans the way they’re made down there–low and slow—-simmered all day long, until they’re creamy, surrounded in a thick gravy and melt in your mouth tender.
So, I bought an Instant Pot and fell in love with it and beans all over again. I’ve adapted this style of creamy beans to the IP, to get the same creamy-dreamy result, in much less time, and without heating up the kitchen!
New Orleans style red beans (and hot sauce) with air-fried potatoes, greens, and coleslaw.
In New Orleans, everyone makes red beans with Camellia beans. They’re hard to come by in Portland, so if I don’t have any stashed away, I prefer small red chili beans over kidney beans. But really, any sort of red bean will work in these.
These beans are similar to the pintos, I posted recently, but with different seasoning. Several folks asked if they were like refried beans, and the answer is, not really, unless you want them to be. This method leaves the beans whole, but in a thick gravy. If you want them smooth, you’ll need to put more elbow grease into creaming them.
Instant Pot! New Orleans Red Beans
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Vegan, Soy, Gluten and Refined Sugar-free
This recipe is Kittee's standard method for New Orleans style red beans--the kind that are super creamy with a nice thick gravy. You can eat them with rice, or with a bunch of other sides, whatever you like!
Before you start, please read through the recipe, instructions and notes on the bottom!
Press the saute setting on the Instant Pot, and let it get hot while you prep the vegetables.
Add the olive oil, and quickly add the celery, red pepper, onion, jalapeño, bay leaf, and salt.
Cook, stirring regularly, until the vegetables soften and begin to brown.
Add the garlic, New Orleans seasoning, if using, granulated onion, and smoked paprika and continue to cook and stir for another minute. Don't let the garlic brown!
Add the water, beans, bouillon, if using, liquid smoke and optional fresh herb. Stir to combine. Cover, lock the lid of the pressure cooker, close the vent, and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes (temporarily turn the Instant Pot off to change between the saute setting and high pressure). Carefully, quick-release the beans. They should be very soft with quite a bit of liquid on top.
Remove the lid and stir. Bring the beans to a steady, full simmer (I use the bean/chili setting--watch for splashes). Stir often, mashing spoonfuls of beans against the inside wall of the cooker, until the water has reduced, the beans are creamy (but still mostly intact), and the liquid has turned into a thick, gravy. This will take about 10-12 minutes of devoted attention. Season to taste with more salt, if desired, and the pickled jalapeños and brine.
Serve immediately, and drizzle with hot sauce, if desired. The beans will continue to thicken as they cool.
To quick soak beans--cover dry beans with boiling water. Let rest an hour, drain and rinse.
The jalapeño pickle juice in these beans is magic! If you don't have any, or prefer less zippier beans, you can use a mild vinegar instead.
Remember! Acid like hot sauce, vinegar, jalapeño pickle juice, tomatoes, or lemon juice will toughen bean skins and keep your beans from cooking and becoming soft. Always add acidic ingredients after your beans have already cooked and are as soft as you'd like them to be.
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xo Julie & Kittee
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