Add the sorted and rinsed beans to a large bowl. Cover the beans in the bowl with at least 4-inches of cold water. Soak the dried beans at room temperature for no less than 6 hours but no longer than 12.
Once the soaking period is over, strain the water from the beans before giving them another rinse under cold, running water.Set aside while you begin the flavoring base.
Render the Fat and Sauté the Aromatics
Add the bacon to a 4-quart dutch oven.Heat the pot over medium-high heat to slowly render the fat from the bacon. After 2-3 minutes of cooking, there should be about a tablespoon of bacon grease in the bottom of your pot.
Add the andouille sausage to the pot. Stir the sausage and bacon together, then brown the sausage for 2-3 minutes, or until it takes on a little color.
Stir the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, jalapeño, and sofrito (if you're using it) into the pot with the sausage and bacon. Sauté the veggies for 3 minutes, or until they begin to look glossy.
Add the tomato paste, cajun seasoning, bay leaves, cumin, thyme leaves, pepper, and allspice to the pot and stir to incorporate everything.
Add, then Simmer the Beans
Add the soaked, drained beans to the pot. Stir in the ham broth. Bring the liquid in the pot up to a rolling boil. Boil the beans for a 10 full minutes, stirring them occasionally to keep beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
After boiling the beans for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to medium-low and allow the beans to simmer for 2 1/2 hours, or until just tender. The beans should offer a bit of resistance when bitten into, but shouldn't be crunchy.If they are still too hard, continue simmering for another 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
Serve and Garnish
Portion 1/2-3/4 cups of the prepared white rice into your serving bowls. Surround the rice with a generous serving of red beans. Garnish the assembled dish with thinly sliced jalapeños, green onions, or nothing at all. Serve with a slice of cornbread or a cornbread muffin (or two).
An important note about red bean lectin:
The soaking, and 10-minute boiling the beans later on in the recipe is not optional. The toxic lectin in the beans is removed during these steps.
Turkey bacon (or oil) and chicken andouille or beef polish kielbasa (odesskie) can replace the bacon and the andouille sausage.
Replace the ham broth with chicken broth.
To Use Canned Beans Instead of Dried:
Drain and rinse 2 16-ounce cans of dark red kidney beans.
Add the beans to the pot with 3 cups of ham broth instead of 6 cups.
Simmer the beans for only 45 minutes.
Prepare the Creole red beans and rice as instructed.
Transfer them to a food storage container.
Freeze the beans for 2 months or refrigerate them for up to 3 days.
Transfer the cooled red beans and rice to separate storage containers. You can also combine the two into one large container.
Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3 days.
Sometimes, as the beans sit, the sauce thickens. If you find your sauce is more of a thick paste, thin it with a bit of ham or chicken broth or water as you reheat it.
Remove the servings of beans you want to eat and reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot.
Spoon the beans over the warmed rice.
Transfer the cooled beans to a freezer storage bag. Freeze the bag lying flat, so it takes up less space when you stand it up after it freezes solid.
Freeze the rice in a separate bag.
Red beans and rice freeze exceptionally well for 2 months.
Thaw the beans (and rice) under refrigeration.
Reheat the beans thoroughly in the microwave or on the stovetop.