If you like Cajun dishes, you'll love this simple dish. I had this dish in New Orleans and it was every bit as good as this one. Don't even think of using one of those box "Red Beans and Rice" mixes - too much salt! If you have 4 cups of beans and sauce left over, use them in chili by adding 1 pound of sauted ground beef, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can Rotel Tomatoes, and 3 T. chili powder. Simmer until thoroughly heated. The beans freeze well.
Rinse the beans and place in large stock pot. Pour enough cold water into pot to cover beans and bring to a boil.
Drain the beans once the water has boiled. No need to soak beans overnight to accomplish the same thing. Return beans to the stock pot and pour in 4 cups water. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
In a skillet, add olive oil and butter on med low heat. Place celery, onion, and peppers in skillet and saute until just tender. Add the garlic for just about 2 minutes. Don't brown this mixture. Add this mixture to the stock pot.
Cover the stock pot and continue to cook on simmer until beans are tender (about 3 hours). Check and stir often. For a thicker sauce at the end of the 3 hours, you can add 1/2 can refried beans or take about a cup of beans out of the pot, mash them and return to the pot.
Cut 2 pounds of smoked sausage into one-inch lengths and lightly saute in a skillet with just a small amount of oil until they are brown. Add the sausage to the beans and continue to simmer for about an hour. Check and stir about every 15 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste. Some sausages might be saltier than others so wait until the sausage has cooked with the beans to add salt and pepper.
Cook rice as directed on package. I use Mahatma long grain (1 cup rice, 2 cups water). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and just let rice set for 10 minutes.
Put rice in bowl and cover with beans, sausage and sauce. Put chopped green onions on top and serve. You might want to put the Tabasco Sauce bottle on the table - it enhances the flavor.
The beans are even better if you just put the stock pot in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them the next day. Use the left over beans as a base for chili - a whole new recipe.