A lot can be said about Chef John Besh – good and bad. But the bad outweighs the good, for sure. He may have tarnished his legacy in New Orleans and everything that he has done as an ambassador for the city but his food and recipes are still amazing.

I was able to interview him for my How Do You Red Bean? series a couple of years ago and he allowed me to share his red beans and rice recipe with you here. This comes from his 2015 cookbook, Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes. The recipe and photo is shared courtesy of Chef John Besh and Andrews McMeel Publishing.

John Besh's Red Beans and Rice

Servings 6 people
Author Red Beans and Eric


  • 2 tbsp bacon fat or oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 lbs dried red kidney beans soaked in water overnight and drained
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • Tabasco
  • 4-6 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 green onions chopped


  1. Heat the bacon fat in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and sweat the onions, bell peppers, and celery. Once the onions become translucent, add the beans, ham hock, bay leaves, and water to cover by 2 inches.
  2. Raise the heat, bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot. Let the beans slowly simmer for 2 hours, stirring from time to time to make sure they do not stick and adding water to keep them covered by at least an inch. Continue cooking the beans until they become so tender they begin to fall apart and become creamy when stirred.
  3. Remove the ham hock from the pot and take the meat off the bone. Roughly chop and return to the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Serve the beans in bowls topped with white rice and green onions.

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Keep the red beans cookin’!


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