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Creole Style Red Beans

Ingredients
2 – 2 1/2 c. red beans, dried
1 lb. or more ham butt, shoulder,
etc. or 1 ring smoked sausage
2 lg. onions
1 green pepper
2 bay leaves
CAUTION: No salt

Preparation:
Soak the beans overnight in 6 cups of cold water. Cut the ham or sausage in 1″ pieces, coarsely cut up the onion and pepper. Dump all this merchandise in with the beans and add another cup or so of water to make up for what the beans have absorbed. Bring to a brisk boil, then immediately reduce the heat (to 200 degrees, if you have a controlled burner), cover the boiler and simmer the beans until they are tender and a good red gravy appears. They should cook in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but this varies. You keep fishing out samples and trying same until you get what you want. It may be necessary to add a little boiling water if they tend to cook dry. The meat usually has quite a plenty salt, but you may want to pep the beans up with a little Louisiana Hot Sauce and/or a little chili powder, but go easy. Serve these in bowls, to be eaten with a spoon.