Rings of Fire Spicy Red Beans & Rice
Soak the beans overnight. Drain and rinse. In a large pot, bring the water and ham hocks to a simmer. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic, onion, celery, thyme and bay leaves. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes until the onions and celery are soft. Add the vegetable mixture to the pot with the ham hocks and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans and sausage and simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally and adding water, if needed. Add the tomatoes, hot sauce and liquid smoke, and simmer for another 1½ hours. Remove the ham hocks and bay leaves before serving. Serve the red beans over the rice.