|• 1 pkg. of Camellia beans – red, navy, or lima – or blackeyed peas
• 6-8 cups water
• 1 chopped onion and 1 stalk celery, chopped a little bigger than the onion
• Seasoning meat, if you like – it’s not necessary. I use ½ cup of leftover cooked ham or, better, 8”-10” of pork sausage in casing (I like Country Pleasin’s green onion or a good Andouille for red beans). Cut the sausage in half lengthwise and then cut each of those in half lengthwise. Line up the 4 long pieces and chop them into ½” pieces.
• About 2 T canola oil, depending on how oily your sausage turns out to be
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 t sea salt, 1/4th t black pepper, 1/8th t red pepper
• ½ t fresh thyme, 2 T fresh parsley, chopped fine
1. Rinse the beans, remove any broken or non-beans. Do Not Soak Camellia Beans!
2. Start them on medium heat in a big pot with 6 cups of water.
3. While they’re warming up, saute onions and celery in a little oil. Do this slowly – you do not want caramelized onions or burnt celery. Salt lightly as you stir.
4. When they’re soft (about 5 minutes), add the seasoning meat and a little more oil if necessary – cook about 5 more minutes.
5. The beans should be starting to try and boil. Add the onions, celery, and meat.
6. Add bay leaf, salt, and peppers.
7. Bring the pot up to a boil and immediately reduce heat so the beans simmer actively but do not boil.
8. Cook for an hour, stirring enough to assure yourself that the beans aren’t sticking.
9. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings to your taste; add more water if needed.
10. Cook another hour and then add the fresh herbs.
11. Continue cooking until the beans are soft and then smash a few on the side of the pot to thicken the liquid. Cook another 10 minutes, taste again, and serve with rice or cornbread. I like a side of collards or other greens – I’ll do that recipe soon.
One More You Need: Mama’s EZ Gravy
• 4 tablespoons butter – margarine is ok, if it’s in a stick form
• 2 1/2 cups broth – beef, chicken, veggie, turkey, shrimp, whatever you want it to taste like
• 4 tablespoons flour – unbleached preferably, but plain white is fine
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• Dash of onion powder or garlic powder or any herbs you want
1. Melt butter in pan over medium heat.
2. Add flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, you want the mixture to turn light brown but not burn.
3. Add salt and pepper and spices, stir in the broth slowly and continue to stir for 3 minutes, sauce should be getting thicker.
4. Remove from heat and serve right away.