This is my own version of red beans and rice, it is somewhat different then most, but it is really good. I sent it to my cousin who has lived in Ca. all her life and she loved it! Soak one pould red beans in a bowl with enough water to cover overnight, wash good first. Next day put 3 TLBS. of bacon grease or olive oil in large pot & heat over med. heat then add one chopped onion, one chopped green bell pepper, 3 tsps chopped garlic & saute 2-3 mins. stirring constantly, then add one can of stewed tomatoes & one can of rotell tomatoes & smash down & saute 3-4 more mins. Pour water off of beans & add to vegetables. Put 6-7 cups of water or this is what I use because I think it gives it more flavor: Swanson's vegetable broth. Bring to boil & turn down to simmer for one hour, then if you have a ham bone leftover from a ham with some ham still on it add to pot, if don't have ham bone get 2-3 ham hocks & add them. If using ham hocks also get a big slice of ham & cut up to put in pot. Simmer this about one hour, then take the ham bone or ham hocks out of beans & discard all the ham should come off the bones by now. I almost forgot you put one tsp. of thyme in beans when you start cooking them. You can also add some red or black pepper to taste. Simmer about another hour until beans are very soft and thickened. Then slice 1-2 pounds smoked sausage & fry then put in with the beans. Serve over rice. Delicous!