Arroz con gandules recipe – This was my grandma’s recipe and she made it for every special occasion, including my wedding. After I finished culinary school, I spent years watching my grandma remake the food of my childhood; her and the food being my only connection to the motherland. And it’s a good thing I did, she passed on not too long after I took on this venture. I don’t know what told me that the end was nigh, but I’m glad the universe put everything in motion and I was able to document her legacy. I miss her.
This recipe got left behind and hidden within past posts. I just felt like it needed its own little moment to shine in the social media hustle because of its authentic and original quality, and because the photos are legit. This recipe contains sofrito, now remember, sofrito will keep in the freezer, tightly wrapped in clingfilm, for six months. My batches never last that long because I sneak sofrito in almost everything. Most of the ingredients are universally used in kitchens around the globe – cilantro, tomato, onion, garlic, bell pepper – I toss sofrito cubes into stirfry, curries, beans, salsas, chili and every braised dish imaginable.
- 1/2 lb. pork butt/shoulder, cut into medium size chunks
- 1.5 - 2 cups of water
- 1 cup medium grain rice (rinsed twice to remove excess starch)
- 1 (15 ounce) can of Goya gandules (green pigeon peas)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup sofrito
- 2 TB Spanish green olives (optional)
- 2 TB neutral oil
- 1 packet of Goya Sazon (con culantro y achiote)
- In a medium size aluminum pot, add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add pork and sear off all pieces until golden brown.
- Scatter rice over oil and pork and cook over medium-high heat for 2-minutes. Add sofrito, tomato sauce, sazon, olives, gandules and water. Add salt to taste.
- Bring to a boil, cover pot and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Fold the rice gently from bottom to top, cover and cook for another 10 - 20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Turn off heat. Let sit for another 5 mins.
- Lightly fluff the rice with a fork to separate grains.
- Just remember, any rice stuck to the bottom is the pegao. Which is basically burnt rice. Crunch bits of toasted rice that everyone fights over.
photo credit: Dan Liberti