Prep 2 hrs
Cook 2 hrs
Recipe from Season 5 Mexico--One Plate at a Time. OK, I just made this and must say it was definitely restaurant caliber tasty. I can't decide if it was worth the effort though. BUT, I have two kids under the age- 2 and 5 months- and doing anything in the kitchen is pretty hard anyway. This was the best beans and rice I've ever had though, to be sure.
- 1 lb dried black beans, picked over to remove any stones
- 1 1⁄2-2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of extraneous fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons fresh pork fat or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium white onions, thinly sliced (divided use)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice, undrained (preferably fire-roasted)
- 1 habanero pepper, stemmed
- 1 1⁄2 cups rice, preferably medium-grain
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced for garnish
- cilantro, for garnish
- 3 limes, quartered for garnish
- 1 cup xnipec salsa (recipe below) (optional)
- The Beans: Rinse the beans, then scoop them into a large (6-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven or Mexican earthenware olla) and add 2 quarts water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour.
- The Pork: While the beans are cooking, sprinkle the pork liberally with salt.
- In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the lard or oil over medium-high, and brown the pork on all sides in an uncrowded layer—it’ll take about 10 minutes. (With a smaller skillet you’ll have to brown the pork in 2 batches.)
- Remove the pork to a plate and set the pan aside.
- When the beans have cooked an hour, add the pork to the pot, along with more water, if necessary, so that everything is submerged.
- Partially cover the pot and continue simmering, until meat and beans are tender, about an hour more.
- The Tomato-Habanero Sauce: Return the pork-frying skillet to medium heat and drizzle in a little more lard or oil, if necessary, to coat the bottom.
- Add half of the sliced onion and fry until golden, about 7 minutes.
- In a blender, coarsely puree the tomatoes and the juices.
- Now, either cut a slit in the side of the habanero(s)—this will give you some habanero fruity flavor without much heat—or cut the habanero(s) in half.
- Add to the onions along with the tomato puree, then simmer, partially covered, stirring often for 10 minutes or so, until reduced to the consistency of a thick sauce (it shouldn’t be dry).
- Taste and season with salt, usually 1 teaspoon.
- Finishing the beans: When the beans are tender, scrape half the tomato sauce into them, add a little more water to the pot, if necessary, to ensure that the pork and beans are nicely covered with liquid.
- Taste and season the beans with salt, usually about 1 ½ teaspoons.
- With a large spoon, carefully remove the pork from the beans and transfer it to an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven.
- Pour the beans into a colander set over a large bowl, return the beans to the pot and measure 2 ½ cups of the broth into a saucepan to use for the rice.
- Return the remaining bean broth to the beans.
- There should still be enough broth to yield somewhat soupy beans; if not add more water.
- The rice: Add ½ teaspoon salt to the pan of bean broth and set over medium heat.
- In a medium-size (3-quart) saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the lard or oil over medium.
- Add the rice and remaining onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice turns from translucent to milky-white, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer, then pour in the hot bean broth.
- Stir once, scrape down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan, cover and cook over medium-low for about 15 minutes; uncover and check a grain of rice—it should be nearly cooked through.
- If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat, re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the cooking.
- If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes more.
- Serving: When you’re ready to serve, reheat the tomato sauce and remove the habanero chilies.
- Ladle the beans into six small bowls.
- Spoon the rice onto each of 6 large warm dinner plate and nestle the pork in the center.
- Spoon a little of the warm sauce onto one side of each plate.
- Onto the other side, arrange a few slices of avocado.
- Garnish with sprigs of cilantro.
- Serve right away, passing the lime wedges and chopped xnipec salsa, if you wish.
- •To make about a cup of xnipec salsa:.
- ½ small red onion, finely chopped.
- 1 tablespoons fresh lime or sour orange juice.
- 6 radishes, chopped into small dice or matchsticks.
- ½ fresh habanero chili, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped.
- A dozen or so large sprigs of cilantro, chopped.
- Salt, about ½ teaspoon.
- Scoop the onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off as much water as possible, then transfer to a small bowl and stir in the juice. Add the remaining ingredients, season with salt, usually about ½ teaspoon, and it’s ready.