Mary’s Mardi Gras Red Beans and Andouille Sausage
I’m an adventurous eater.: I like a lot of different cuisines, and southern food is no exception. This is one of my favorite Southern recipes to make at home—classic red beans and Andouille sausage. It’s a popular dish in the South all year, but I love celebrating Mardi Gras with it. Try this one with some homemade cornbread slathered in honey. They’re an impeccable pair!
What is Andouille sausage, anyway?
Red beans, Creole seasoning, and, of course, that special New Orleans sausage: Andouille. But what exactly is Andouille sausage? A staple ingredient in Creole cooking, Andouille sausage in the United States began with French settlers who brought their sausage-making techniques to Louisiana in the 1700s. The French version was made with pig chitterlings, tripe, onions, and wine. It has a grayish color and, as you can guess from the ingredients, a distinctive odor.
Thankfully, Southern recipes were adapted over time to incorporate local ingredients, resulting in a distinctly Creole Andouille sausage: Robust, smoky, and totally unique. Traditionally, the meat is heavily spiced and smoked over pecan wood and sugar cane, giving it a flavor profile so rich that this sausage is not only considered a protein but also a seasoning for the dish! Andouille sausage is a key ingredient in well-loved dishes like gumbo and jambalaya.
Should I use canned beans or dry beans?
Ahh, the great debate. Canned beans might be easier, but I always use dry beans for this recipe. Cooking the beans from scratch makes a big difference in flavor and texture. The only caveat is that you have to think a little bit ahead. The beans will need to soak overnight before you start cooking. This soak makes the beans more digestible and softens them, so they take less time to cook with all the other ingredients.
Want more Mardi Gras recipes? I’ve got you covered!
Mardi Gras, also known affectionately as "Fat Tuesday,” is the last big fling before Lent on the Catholic calendar. Get it while you can, right? Make sure to sign up for my newsletter this month to get a list of all my favorite Mardi Gras recipes!