Louis Armstrong’s Red Beans and Rice

A Cajun-inspired favorite recipe from jazz musi­cian Louis Arm­strong, this is a per­fect accom­pa­ni­ment to your read­ing of Jazz Day by Rox­ane Orgill.

Louis and Lucille Armstrong’s Red Beans and Rice

Total Time6 hours
Serv­ings: 8


  • 1 pound kid­ney beans
  • 12 pound salt pork strip of lean, strip of fat
  • 1 small can of toma­to sauce if desired
  • 6 small ham hocks or 1 smoked
  • pork butt
  • 2 onions diced
  • 14 green bell pepper
  • 5 tiny or 2 medi­um dried peppers
  • 1 clove gar­lic chopped
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash beans thor­ough­ly, then soak overnight in cold water. Be sure to cov­er beans. To cook, pour off water and add fresh water to cov­er. Add salt pork and bring to a boil in cov­ered pot. Turn flame down to slight­ly high­er than low and cook one and a half hours. Add onions, pep­pers, gar­lic and salt. Cook three hours. Add toma­to sauce and cook an hour and a half more, adding water as nec­es­sary. Beans and meat should always be cov­ered with liquid.
  • To pre­pare with ham hocks or pork butt, wash meat, add water to cov­er and bring to boil in cov­ered pot over medi­um flame. Cook one and a half hours. Add beans (pour water off) and rest of ingre­di­ents to meat. Cook four and a half hours. Add water as necessary.
  • Serve over or beside rice.


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