This is another favorite of JD's. Wonderful flavor. Not glamourous, but sooooo good.
Red Beans with Sausage
recipe adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything
1 pound pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and picked over
sliced ham hocks
1/2 pound Italian sausage (I use sweet, not hot)
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)
Put beans in large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the ham hock slices and reduce heat to simmer. Cover loosely. Add more water if necessary.
Meanwhile, put sausages in skillet over medium heat. Turn occasionally until browned on all sides; remove from pan. Sausages will not be done in the middle, but don't worry about that. Cut sausages into chunks.
Add a little canola oil to the skillet and add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened...about 10 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Return the sausage chunks to the pan and cook over medium heat until browned all over.
Add the onion/peppers, thyme, bay leaves, allspice and tomatoes to the pan.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10-15 minutes.
Remove the ham hocks from the pot of beans, remove bones and chop.
Return chopped ham to the pot of beans along with the sausage/vegetable mixture.
Cook at a simmer until the beans are very tender. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
Serve alone or over rice; sprinkle with chopped parsley.