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An Instant Pot recipe* so easy, even you won’t screw it up

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By the Condescending Cook**

Illustration by Jordan Sellergren

This is where I tell you a personal story about my time in NOLA,*** how it profoundly changed my understanding of what living free truly meant, and where I mastered the alchemy of turning meaning and memory into nutrients and flavor.****

Now, this being an amateur***** cooking article, this second paragraph is reserved for some folksie yarn about how I run a household and how my absentee spouse, the volunteer firefighter/Bible teacher on an oil rig, is such a picky eater****** that “almost dern nuthin’” I make satisfies, yet they somehow find it in their hearts to inhale-eat the slop I prepare.******* Let’s assume you relate, and we’ve formed a kinship that will provide you with the confidence needed to follow simple instructions.

Author’s note: You’ll notice a large collection of addenda throughout the recipe. Don’t be nervous; this is to address frequently asked questions so you will have no need whatsoever to use the online comment forum that is regrettably standard these days.

Ingredients********

  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 lb andouille********* sausage********** cut into thin slices
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4-37 cloves of garlic, minced***********
  • 1 lb dry red beans************
  • 2-4 sprigs of thyme*************
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves**************
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper, or to taste***************
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 smoked ham shank****************
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley or cilantro*****************, chopped
  • Cooked rice to serve

Instructions

  • Select “Saute” mode and give it 5 minutes to get hot.
  • Add oil and allow it to “shimmer” but not smoke.
  • Add sausage. Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside******************.
  • Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent and somebody walks by and says, “What smells so good?”
  • Add all spices and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
  • Deglaze the inner pot with a splash of broth, so there’s nothing stuck to the bottom.
  • Stir in remaining broth, bay leaves, red beans and ham shank.
  • Close the Instant Pot and pressure cook on “high” for 60 minutes.
  • Allow for a natural pressure release (NPR) and open the Instant Pot.
  • Remove the ham shank, chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  • Remove 1 cup of beans, and mash with a fork. This will give you the desired creaminess. Wand mixer is ideal for the task if you’ve got one.
  • Stir in ham shank (sans bone), mashed beans and reserved andouille sausage to the inner pot.
  • Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and parsley/cilantro.
  • Serve hot sauce on the side.

* “But I don’t have an Instant Pot, can I still—” No. You do not have the tools required. Click to another article, play with that. You can’t sit with us.

** “Oh, I know who wrote this.” Take this personal, I guess?

*** Don’t ever say it like that.

**** I won’t, it didn’t, I haven’t.

***** I have never been paid to cook; I like it too much.

****** A note on picky eaters: Get them out of your life. Cook whatever and however you like. They don’t like it, fine; they can have a piping cold bowl of cereal from the cabinet or go to that restaurant in downtown Iowa City where cereal is the specialty. Same goes for your sullen, dead-eyed children. Leave them in the deep of the woods.

******* Seriously, get a divorce.

******** “Here’s what I have in my cupboards: powdered milk, rock salt, several commemorative plush characters from the film Shark Tale, baking chocolate and the complete set of Homies figurines. What can I make with this?” An absolute mess of your life.

********* “EVERYONE KNOWS THAT U CAN ONLY GET REAL ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE IN THE FORGOTTEN CREOLE GRAVEYARDS OF LOUISIANA DURING THE BUCK MOON OF THE SEVENTH DAY OF THE SEVENTH MONTH AND IF U TRY TO CROSS STATE LINES THE OLD SWAMP WITCH’S CURSE TURNS IT INTO TRAIN SMOKE WRAPPED IN GATOR SKIN. THIS RECIPE IS HORRIBLE!” Which is why using a kielbasa is fine.

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********** “How do I make this vegetarian? You are legally required to tell me.” Go to instantpotvegetarian.com.

*********** “This recipe is too vague, please specify amount, my wife is crying and my dinner guests are leaving.” Listen, I don’t know your life. I’m an 8-clove-minimum cooker, but do you, playboy.

************ “Ya’ll, this is SO dangerous, I have a friend and her cousin did not soak her beans for exactly 38 hours and she took one bite and her jaw exploded.” You lost me at “I have a friend.” But this is where the IP saves time and money: Red beans are like $2 a pound and the pressure cooker takes care of tedious soaking in an hour and a half while cooking.

************* Good luck figuring out what to do with the other 796 sprigs that come in the pack.

************** Warning: these suckers are like gotdamn razor blades. Remember all the urban legends about kids getting razors in their apples and popcorn balls while trick or treating? Bay leaves.

*************** “This is TOO SPICY to serve my clan, so I substituted three skinless chicken breasts for everything else on this list, cooked at 350 for 75 minutes and served with a garnish of ice cubes. Turned out perfect! New favorite dish, ya’ll!” Cool, I’m going to come to your house and feed you spiderwebs in your sleep.

**************** “Does this—” Nope, doesn’t mean pig knife.

***************** “Cilantro ruins everything.” No, Dave, your drinking ruins everything. The kids miss you.

****************** “Yeah, hi, I’m the vegetarian from earlier in the article and instantpotvegetarian.com doesn’t exist; please advise.” Shoot, maybe check the print magazine.

A version of this article was originally published in Little Village issue 257.


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