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Rice with Pigeon Peas
(Arroz con Gandules)
½ cup Achiote Oil
1 cup Sofrito
3 tablespoons alcaparrado or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed
3 tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ pounds smoked pork neck bones or smoked turkey wings
or one smoked ham hock
One 13-ounce bag frozen pigeon peas or one 15-ounce can pigeon
6 cups long grain rice
Beef Broth, homemade or store-bought and/or water as needed (about
1 banana leaf, optional
Makes 10 to 15 servings, as part of a larger meal
Heat the achiote oil in a heavy 5-quart pot or Dutch oven over
high heat until rippling. Stir in the sofrito, alcaparrada or olives,
salt, pepper and cumin. Cook until the sofrito stops boiling and
starts to sizzle, about 5 minutes.
Add the pork bones and stir until they're coated with oil,
then stir in the rice until everything is mixed together and the
rice is coated with oil. Stir in the pigeon peas, then pour in enough
broth and/or water to cover the rice by the width of two fingers.
Top with the banana leaf, folding it up as necessary to fit over
the rice. Bring to a boil and boil without stirring until the level
of liquid meets the rice. Take the banana leaf off, give the rice
a big, healthy stir and put the leaf back on top. Reduce the heat
to low, cover the pot, and cook until the water is absorbed and
the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the banana leaf, give the rice a big stir and fluff it with
a fork. Serve hot.