One of Willie Robertson’s favorite recipes is Beans and Rice.
Excerpts from the book The Duck Commander Family by Willie and Korie Robertson.
The Duck Commander CEO and Duck Dynasty star said: “A short time after Phil’s family moved to Dixie, [his father] Pa fell eighteen feet from the floor of a drilling rig and landed on his head. He broke two vertebrae in his back and ruptured his stomach. The accident nearly killed him. Doctors fused the vertebrae in his back with bone from his hip and repaired his stomach. But Pa was forced to wear a heavy Plaster-of-Paris cast from neck to hip for nearly two years and obviously couldn’t work. Making matters worse, Granny was confined to a mental hospital at the time, so Pa was left to care for five of his children while he was immobilized.
“Phil’s older brothers, Jimmy Frank and Harold, were enrolled in classes at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Both of them volunteered to come home and work to help the family make ends meet. But Pa insisted they stay in school and finish their education. The family somehow survived on Pa’s disability checks of thirty-five dollars a week. Phil’s older sister, Judy, did most of the cooking and cared for her younger siblings, Silas and Jan. Tommy and Phil gathered pecans and sold them to local markets. The family subsided on rice and beans, cornbread, and whatever fish and game the boys could catch. Rice and beans was a staple dish at the Robertson dinner table. A hundred-pound bag of rice and several cans of beans would last for weeks. There are dozens of ways to prepare rice and beans, and the recipes could be altered by adding a simple gravy or squirrels, quail, or fish so it was a perfect meal for the struggling Robertson family.
“You can be creative with this. Don’t worry about doing it exactly the way it is written, try stuff, if you don’t have an ingredient make it anyway. I make beans every time we make or buy a ham — the ham bone is the key. You will find hunks of that ham when it cooks off the bone that you never knew existed and they are delicious. NEVER throw ham bone away!”
- 1 pound dry kidney Pinto beans
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 6 cups water
- a couple of slices of bacon, cut up
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you are feeding kids)
- 2 bay leaves (if you don’t have it in your cabinet don’t worry about it)
- a pinch of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Phil Robertson’s Cajun Style Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes (again, don’t sweat it if you don’t have it)
- 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced (Add more if you like sausage, or a different kind if this is too spicy.)
- Ham bone with as much ham left on it as you want (I buy one that is honey glazed, take the ham off for sandwiches, then use what’s left for beans)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- Louisiana Hot Sauce
- Rinse beans and transfer to a large pot with ham bone six cups of water. Make sure the water is covers all the beans.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil and cut up bacon over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery for three to four minutes.
- Stir cooked vegetables into beans.
- Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, parsley, and Cajun Style Seasoning.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook 4 to 6 hours, or until beans are soft and done. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
- Cut sausage into slices and brown in skillet on medium heat with a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Stir sausage into beans towards the end of cooking time and continue to simmer for thirty minutes.
- Add a pinch of brown sugar to taste.
- In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for twenty minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice and add plenty of Louisiana Hot Sauce.