Red Beans and Rice on New Year’s Eve

Red Beans and Rice- Kix Brooks, "Cookin' It With Kix"

            Many Southerners swear by eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day.  They claim it will bring you luck in the new year.   Hoppin’ John is made with black-eyed peas and rice.  Since I am not a huge fan of black-eyed peas, I began looking for an alternative to serve on New Year’s Eve during the big ballgame…#2 Clemson vs #3 Ohio State.

After reviewing Kix Brooks’ new cookbook, “Cookin’ It With Kix, The Art Of Celebrating And The Fun Of Outdoor Cooking”, I discovered he likes red beans and rice for New Year’s, using an old family recipe. Photo courtesy “Cookin’ It With Kix”  by Kix Brooks

According to Kix, “This recipe for New Year’s Red Beans and Rice that’s been passed down for at least a couple generations in my family is a case where you’ve got to take the time to do it right.  It’s worth it too-not only because it tastes so dang good but because it makes your house smell good for days.  This is a two-and-a half to three-day ordeal:

Soak one night…Prepare the next night…Serve it the third night

This makes a big batch of beans.  You can freeze any that you don’t eat, or you can cut the recipe in half and make a smaller batch.”

I decided to make this early to test on my family, then I froze the red beans until I need them on New Year’s Eve.

A few observations before I post the recipe…This does take time (therefore I am glad I did it in advance), it does make a lot of beans, yes it is nice to be able to freeze them, and I altered a few things to fit my preferences.  I will include my changes in (…)


  • 2 pounds dry red kidney beans, rinsed and picked over (my family prefers pinto beans to kidney beans)
  • 1/2 pound salt pork (If pre-sliced, tie together with cooking twine to keep from falling apart)
  • 6 fist-sized ham hocks ( I used 3...I use a 12 qt. stock pot and this recipe filled it to capacity)
  • 3 or 4 onions, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, sliced diagonally
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups diced green bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups diced red belll peppers
  • 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole, peeled tomatoes, plus juice from one of the cans
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce (or 2 16 ounce cans)
  • 4-6 heads garlic or garlic powder, enough to cover the whole top of the bean pot (I used 6-8 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 3 tablespoons Tabasco sauce, or more
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15-inch) roll pepperoni, sliced and quartered into 3/4 inch chunks (I couldn't find the roll and used pre-sliced...would prefer chunks)
  • 3 (10-inch) kielbasa sausages, sliced and quartered into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 3 (10-inch) smoked beef sausages, sliced and quartered
  • 1 (1-pound) package hot Italian sausage links, casings removed and browned separately (Optional...I chose not to add...with all the sausages already in the recipe)


  1. Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover.
  2. The next day, add the salt pork and ham hocks and more water to cover the beans.
  3. Cook over medium heat until the beans are beginning to soften, for about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Add more water if necessary.
  5. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, fresh and canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, thyme, black pepper, pepperoni, kielbasa, and smoked sausage. Cook 1 hour, then add the browned Italian sausage, if using. Cook, uncovered, at least 2 more hours. Turn off stove, cover the pot, and let it sit out overnight.
  6. The next day, cook the beans for a few more hours over low. Serve over rice.
  7. Garnish with a few green onions, sliced.

By Kix Brooks via KathyMillerTime
Adapted from Cookin' It With Kix: The Art of Celebrating and The Fun of Outdoor Cooking


Recipe Printed from

 Now for the fun part…spending New Year’s Eve with good friends, eating ham and red beans and rice, watching college football.  What could make for a better evening?

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.

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