4 ounces andouille or smoked sausage, diced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup red beans, dried
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1. Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover them,
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
3. Stir in the pork chop pieces, sausage, thyme and cayenne and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the beans and 3 1/2 cups of water. Simmer over low heat until the beans are creamy, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve with the steamed rice.