• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound boiled ham cut, into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (1 cup)
  • 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted through, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • Steamed rice


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, cayenne, black pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaves, ham and sausage and saute for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the beans, garlic, and enough water to cover the contents in the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours.
  • Add more water if the mixture becomes dry and thick.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mash about half of the mixture against the side of the pot.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the mixture is creamy and the beans are soft.
  • Add more water if it becomes too thick.
  • The mixture should be soupy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves and serve with steamed white rice.
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