About this recipe:If you like rice dishes like paella or jambalaya, you'll love this Puerto Rican pork, rice and bean dish. This is a labourious recipe, but delicious and well worth the effort. To be authentic, use pigeon peas instead of the black eye beans if you can find them.
250ml vegetable oil
1.3kg pork shoulder, cubed
3 tablespoons achiote (annatto) seeds
325g chopped onion
90g chopped fresh coriander
12 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (400g) tin pigeon peas or black eye beans, drained
425g black olives, pitted and halved
1.5kg uncooked short grain rice, rinsed
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Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add pork and brown in oil. Meanwhile, place remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add achiote seeds. Heat until oil becomes very dark orange/red. Remove from heat and set aside.
To the browned pork add the onion, coriander, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook to reduce veggies, then add the passata, beans and olives. Mix well. Strain achiote/oil mixture into pork mixture and stir together. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add uncooked rice and water to pork mixture; stir well. Raise temperature to high, cover saucepan and bring all to the boil. Stir again, reduce heat to low and cover; let cook on low about 10 minutes. Remove cover, stir again, replace cover and cook another 10 minutes; stir again. Remove from heat and allow to stand 15 minutes.
Also called achiote, it can be found at Asian or Latin American shops and markets, or online. Annatto is mostly used for the vibrant colour it imparts, so in a pinch you could either omit it from the recipe or use saffron or a mixture of turmeric and paprika instead.