-Cooking Oil -Sazón -Salt Pork -Onion -Garlic -Tomato Sauce -Sofrito -Better Than Bouillon Chicken
-White Vinegar -Sweet Potato -Green Bell Pepper -Canned Kidney Beans -Rice -Water -Salt
Add oil to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over mid-high heat. Once it has warmed, add diced salt pork and a packet of sazón. Fry until the fat has rendered and the salt pork is golden, about 4 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the diced onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Once the garlic releases its aroma, add the tomato sauce, the sofrito, the Better Than Bouillon, and vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, reducing the sauce and developing the flavors.
Add the diced green bell pepper and the diced large sweet potato. Cook for five minutes.
Add the beans and enough water to cover them. Stir and taste the broth. Add salt to taste, but don’t over salt. As water evaporates, the salt will become more pronounced.
Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes until the sweet potato has softened. If halfway through the cook, the liquid in the beans reduces too much, add 1/4 cup of water.
For the rice, set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add oil. When the oil has warmed, add the rinsed rice, mix it into the oil and let it toast for a minute. Next, add the boiling water to the rice. Finally, add the salt and stir.
Cook uncovered until the water begins to evaporate and you see little steam holes form over the surface of the rice, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot tightly with a heavy lid. Cook the rice without stirring until the grains are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
After you portion out the rice, scrape up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pot to serve on top of your rice. No, you did not burn your rice. The crispy bits are called “pegao,” and in Puerto Rico, it’s the part of the meal that everyone wants a piece of.
To serve, scoop a 1/2 cup of rice into a bowl and top it with a 1/2 cup of beans. If you want to take it one step further, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and add a few slices of ripe plantain on the side as we did. It’s a knockout!! As we say in Puerto Rico, “Buen provecho!”