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Camellia Brand
Buster Holmes in front of his restaurant

Buster Holmes’ Red Beans & Rice

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Buster Holmes' famous Red Beans & Rice, served at first Jazz Fest. Based on original recipe in NYT and Buster Holmes Restaurant Cookbook: Handmade Home Cookin'


  • 1 (1-pound) package Camellia Brand Red Kidney Beans
  • water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound smoked ham hock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Louisiana hot sauce
  • French bread and butter
Total time:
2 hours, 15 minutes
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
2 hours



  1. Pick through beans and remove any rocks. Wash beans and cover with water by a good three inches.
  2. Let soak overnight, adding more water to keep the beans covered. (Or choose your preferred soaking method.)
  3. Rinse, change to fresh water, and stir in onion, bell pepper, ham hock and garlic.
  4. Cook on slow fire, in a heavy bottomed pot, until done (about 2 hours).
  5. Add salt, pepper, seasoning and butter and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Serve over rice with Louisiana hot sauce, French bread and butter.

Recipe based on Buster's original Red Beans recipe found in The Buster Holmes Restaurant Cookbook: New Orleans Handmade Cookin' from Pelican Press. Used with permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. Photo courtesy of Philip M. Denman