- 1 lb dry small red beans
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs meaty ham shanks
- 4 cups water
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Cajun or Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's or Zatarains) or to taste*
- Tabasco sauce**
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooked white rice (from about 3 cups raw rice)
- Place dried beans in a large bowl and cover them with cold water by a couple of inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. (You can quick soak them by putting them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them, covering them by 2 inches, then letting them soak for two hours.) Drain.
- Place beans, ham shanks, garlic, chopped onion, and water in a large (8-quart) pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
- Remove ham shanks from the pot to a dish. Let cool slightly then shred the meat away from the bones. Return the meat back to the pot. Add the celery, bell peppers, Worcestershire and seasonings. Cover and cook for another hour or until the mixture gets thick. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. Serve over rice.
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