Every once in awhile, I like to get back to basics like my recipe for White Beans Supreme. It’s a simple Cajun recipe with easy preparation and satisfying results. It’s no-fuss, home-style, comfort food that is heart-warming and sticks to your soul like white on rice.
Beans and rice are a staple of every Cajun and Creole household. Much like our gumbo, the tradition of beans and rice is handed down from the African influence of plantation workers in the cane fields of South Louisiana. Their Caribbean and African culinary traditions followed them and quickly became a staple Cajun dish of the region.
Red beans, black beans, black-eyes are on the menu in Acadiana, but it is the flavor and texture of the large white, lima beans that I particularly enjoy in this Cajun recipe. Camellia is the top bean seller in Louisiana and they’ve been around for almost a hundred years. Every Acadiana pantry is stocked with their products. The simplicity of this White Beans Supreme recipe is predicated on following my three simple rules of all bean cookery–a long, slow simmer with smoky pork in a rich stock.
Ham shanks are always hidden in the back of my freezer for just this purpose. Chisesi Bros. Meats out of New Orleans has a terrific smoked ham shank that adds a depth of flavor. In addition, to add flavor to my White Beans Supreme, I throw in a chunk of tasso from Poche’s Meat Market along with several spicy, smoked pig tails that all combine for a meaty, intensely smoked foundation.
I am partial to the flavor and texture of Supreme Rice. Based in Crowley, the rice capital of the world, Supreme Rice is cornering the rice market on the local, national and international scene. For over 70 years, they have grown, milled and shipped bulk rice all over the world and are one of the largest suppliers in the commodity rice market. Recently, they began packaging for retail stores in South Louisiana under the name of Supreme. With the volume of rice they produce, the Supreme brand is able to scoop up the prime rice as it comes to market. The taste is classic Louisiana and their long-grain white rice is showcased in my White Beans Supreme and many other Cajun recipes.
I urge you to try this Cajun recipe for White Beans Supreme, and the result will be a true taste of Louisiana culture. No matter where you live, these Cajun cooking ingredients will be readily available, and with this one simple dish you can be dining on exactly what a family living by the Bayou Teche eat for supper once a week.
And if you’re not already here, it just might make you want to visit Cajun country real soon.
- 6 bacon strips, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound dried white beans (large limas), such as Camellia
- 1 smoked ham shank
- 1 cup chopped tasso or smoked ham
- 4 smoked pig tails
- 8 cups chicken stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups cooked Louisiana long-grain white rice, such as Supreme
- 1 cup diced green onion tops
- In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the bacon pieces until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined platter and reserve.
- Add the onion to the bacon grease and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the white beans and ham shank along with the tasso and pig tails as well as the cooked bacon pieces. Pour the stock over it all and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat to low for a slow simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
- Uncover the beans, check for doneness. The beans should be soft and creamy , if not, continue cooking until tender. Once cooked, turn the heat off.
- Dish it up in large shallow bowls with the white beans and meats surrounding a mound of white rice. Garnish with a sprinkle of diced green onion tops. Serve with hot sauce on the side.
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