Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)
This is a dish that is made in every Puerto Rican household. There are probably hundreds of variations since everyone makes “theirs” slightly different. This is how I like to do it. The difference here is that instead of adding the olives at the beginning, I add them at the end. I think it gives the rice a “cleaner” flavor.
Arroz Con Gandules(Rice and Pigeon Peas)
- 1/4 cup achiote oil or 1/4 cup olive oil with a packet of sazon with achiote mixed in
- 1/2 cup sofrito sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 lb boneless pork, cut into small dice
- 1 pound cooked pigeon peas, rinsed and drained if using canned
- 3 cups long grain rice
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1/2 banana leaves (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
Heat achiote oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until it ripples; stir in sofrito and season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Cook until sofrito reduces and starts sizzling, about 5 minutes.
Stir in pork, peas, and rice until everything is lightly covered with oil. Add enough broth to cover rice and bones by the width of two fingers. Cover with a banana leaf, if using, folding as necessary to fit into the pot.
Bring to a boil and let cook until the level of broth reaches the level of the rice (it will look like numerous volcanos. Remove leaf, add in olives, give a good stir, replace leaf, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove leaf and fluff with fork; serve hot.