Red Beans and Union Jack Rice

Red beans and Rice is a staple dish of the Creole kitchen. This version uses beers from Firestone Walker Brewing CO. to make a Red Beans and Union Jack Rice, that can be served either as a side dish or as a main course. To add a richness and nice roasty element, I used a Porter beer style to cook, along with pork stock to simmer delicious heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo. Once the beans are tender and layered with flavor, they are ladled over a slightly bitter IPA rice made with Union Jack IPA. This Beer Cuisine trick, having two different beers, at different flavor spectrum’s, one roasting, dark and a rich with maltiness and the other floral, bitter and hints of citrus, adds even more layers of flavor into this Creole | Cajun Cuisine comfort classic. One of the many reasons why I enjoy this cuisine is the juxtaposition of sweet to spicy, roasty | smoky to vegetable rich, herbs to allium (onion family), the use of different ingredients, common in different cuisines (African | French | Spanish | Caribbean | Latin America), all expressing history through food. The homey essence, the bite, the kick, the savory, the time, that this cuisine seems to carry with it, that one can taste with each bite. When tasting this recipe, each bite never gets boring or repetitive, but filled with exploration, cultures mixing, new flavors coming together in unique ways that defines a regional cuisine.

I collaborated with Brouwer’s Cafe and Firestone Walker Brewing Company to throw a beer dinner for Seattle Beer Week. Matt Bonney, from Brouwer’s, had just returned from a trip to New Orleans—as we chatted about his travels, it struck us that New Orleans would make a great theme for this dinner in 2011. So David Walker and I began sorting through Firestone Walker’s lineup to find beers that would highlight the complex flavors in Creole | Cajun Cuisine. The recipes below are from the dinner, scaled down for the home kitchen. Using these recipes, the homebrewer | cook can re-create a smaller, more intimate version of the 10-course menu we crafted for over 100 guests.

To make this Red Beans and Union Jack Rice recipe an entrée, add either Beer-Braised Pork Belly with a Creole Seasoning Barrel or Wood-Smoked Quail on top.

Serves: 4 guests as an entrée or 8 guests as an appetizer or course

 

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Adapted from BeerAdvocate Magazine: Cuisine à la Bière | Jul 2011 | Issue #54

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Red Beans and Union Jack Rice
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Red Beans and Union Jack Rice is my Beer Cuisine | Cooking with Beer twist to the Creole | Cajun Cuisine classic, infusing a dark Porter and a hoppy IPA into this side dish or main course staple recipe.
Servings Prep Time
4-8 guests 25 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
2 1/2 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-8 guests 25 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
2 1/2 hours 24 hours
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Red Beans and Union Jack Rice
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Red Beans and Union Jack Rice is my Beer Cuisine | Cooking with Beer twist to the Creole | Cajun Cuisine classic, infusing a dark Porter and a hoppy IPA into this side dish or main course staple recipe.
Servings Prep Time
4-8 guests 25 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
2 1/2 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-8 guests 25 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
2 1/2 hours 24 hours
Ingredients
Red Bean Spice Blend Ingredients:
Red Bean Ingredients:
Union Jack Rice Ingredients:
Servings: guests
Units:
Instructions
Red Bean Directions:
  • Starting the night before, wash and sort the dried red beans (Rio Zape or Domingo Rojo Bean—try buying them online from Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans) and place into a container that has enough room for the beans to re-hydrate. Cover with plenty of cold water and set aside. The next day, rinse the beans and set aside until ready for cooking.
  • In a medium to large stock pot, add the butter and place over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, celery and peppers (called the “Holy Trinity”) and sauté for 5 – 6 minutes, until transparent. Add the garlic, bay leaves and the some of the Cajun Spice Blend, and cook another 3 – 4 minutes. Add the sliced sausage and lightly brown the meat for 3 – 4 minutes more. Add the pork shank | hock (if smoked, have your butcher slice into four pieces each with a band saw), deglaze the pot with the Porter and add the water or stock (pork | chicken | vegetable). Bring to a simmer and turn the heat down to medium low. This will make a pork stock for the beans to cook in. Let the stock cook until the pork shanks are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the shanks from the stock, setting aside in a bowl. Add the drained, re-hydrated beans to the pot and cook until they are tender, about 30 – 40 minutes, depending on how old the beans are (the older they are, the longer they take to cook). The liquid level should cover the beans by about 2 inches. Stir the beans periodically to prevent scorching. Meanwhile, remove the meat from the shank bone and shred it. Add a half-cup of water if needed, to fully cook the beans and prevent scorching. When the beans are tender, add the shank meat back to the beans. Season with more a Cajun Spice Blend if more heat and spice is needed or desired, adjusting with salt and pepper. Tabasco sauce or another Creole style hot sauce can be added for more spice | heat, too.
Union Jack Rice Ingredients:
  • Place a medium-size pot with a lid over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and sauté until transparent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the bay leaf and the rice, and toast the rice for 2 minutes, stirring to coat it evenly with oil. Add the beer and water, bringing the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid, leaving a tiny crack to allow steam to be released. Cook the rice until tender, about 25 minutes. Once all the moisture is absorbed into the rice, remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes, covered. Using a fork, fluff rice and serve.
  • To serve, place the Union Jack Rice into a bowl and make a small crater in the center. Ladle the red beans over the top.
Recipe Notes

More Creole | Cajun Recipes:

Beer Beignets
Beer-Braised Pork Belly with a Creole Seasoning
Bourbon Barley Pie Crust
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Pecan Pie
Cajun IPA Remoulade Sauce
Cajun Spice Blend ground
Cajun Spice Blend
Home Brew Chef Sean Z. Paxton
Hurricane Cocktail
Pecan Praline with Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine 200
Pecan Praline with Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Red Beans and Union Jack Rice
Tasso Beer-Brined Pig Head
Tasso Beer-Brined Pig Head
Tasso Beer-Brined Pig Head Gumbo
Tasso Beer-Brined Pig Head Gumbo
Tasso Cured Prawns

Sean Paxton

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